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Cam Marston on New Year Resolutions.

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On the first Keepin' It Real of the New Year, Cam struggles with what his goals for the new year should be.

Perhaps you’ve heard the word BHAG. It’s actually an acronym. Stands for Big Hairy Audacious Goal. A BHAG. BHAG is also, incidentally, a city in Pakistan. Certainly pronounced differently and now that you know it’s also a city, the next time someone mentions a BHAG you can ask them to clarify: Are you talking about the acronym, or are you talking about the Pakistani city, which, also incidentally, is really fun to say. Not BHAG but Pakistani city. However, I’m referring to BHAG the acronym. A big, hairy, audacious goal.

And, tis the season for BHAGs. New Year’s resolutions are a part of the fabric of our world, and as of this moment, I’ve set no resolutions, no goals, for the new year. I need some, I just don’t know where to start. In years past, I’ve resolved to select my curse words more carefully, choosing ones that truly reflect how I feel versus the ones that just fly out without consideration. That lasted a little while. Another year I resolved to teach my children the roots of New Orleans funk music when I drove them to school, and they sat captive in my car. I even printed out the words to the songs I felt they should know, and that lasted a very little while.

I’ve set New Year’s goals for my business and my hobbies. The fact that this commentary even exists is a result of a BHAG I set out for myself about five years ago now – to be a commentator on Public Radio, and while there are many goals I should set out for my business, nothing comes to mind that really excites me.

In year’s past, I set goals for exercise and road races. I set out to run a 10k in under forty minutes. That was a significant BHAG. I didn’t make it, by the way. I was about a minute too slow, and as I crossed the finish line, I was pretty sure I was about to experience a big hairy audacious death and have never tried again. And athletic pursuits have been shelved for a while due to mystery pains in my right knee known clinically as hurto-knee-e-osis. I’m nursing it back to health so I don’t need what orthopedists call a knee-ectomy. So, anything stressful involving my favorite right knee is out.

The trainer who runs the boot camp workout I do three days a week is a horrible, mean, miserable and unpleasant man which makes him very good at his job, and I’m proud to call him my friend. He suggested a full body scan giving me a readout on everything from my weight to my bone density to my muscle mass to my sub-cutaneous fat which, I’m told can only be altered through a change of diet. I could target some numbers to change and set about it via a mixture of dieting, changing what I eat, and exercises that don’t inflame my favorite right knee.

Or, I could put a travel goal out there of, let’s say, travel to BHAG, the Pakistani City. It would probably be easier. Pakistani City. You just gotta say it! It’s so fun!

I'm Cam Marston, and I'm just trying to Keep It Real.

Cam Marston is the Keepin' It Real host for Alabama Public Radio.