When is the perfect time to start something new?

I have debated with myself for months about when I should launch my personal Outside 365 challenge. Two things I’ve debated hotly in my own skull:

1. When should I personally begin the challenge? 

Photo: Marcel Slootheer

Normally, my answer would be “right now,” but if you’ve been following my work for any length of time, you know that I’ve had injuries—many injuries. Most recently, I underwent my second ACL surgery to fix an injury from two years ago. So the timing is not ideal to begin a year-long challenge that could be derailed by one off day during recovery.

But there is no other time, any other moment, that exists than this moment we’re currently living. The past no longer exists. The future has not yet come to pass. The only temporal reality is the present. That’s it, that is all that we have, all that we are guaranteed.

So start now.

Technically, the idea of undertaking this challenge has been bugging me for over two years, and most recently surfaced in October, 2017… right around the time I was about to be incapacitated by surgery. So I waited. I decided to choose a present moment to begin that was more ideal than a moment in which I was required to use two crutches to traverse any distance. 

But I couldn’t wait for the perfect moment to arrive, as it never does. Will my knee injury be better healed in a future moment? Hopefully. But what new injury will occur between now and then? What else can go wrong in life to make that moment not feel like the moment? It's impossible to say.

So I’m starting now.

2. When should I begin blogging about the challenge?

I don’t necessarily need to write about my Outside 365 challenge. I could choose not to. But I am a writer, and writers write. Writing is core to our existence—it creates and defines our lives in so many ways. 

So I'm writing.

As I began drafting my manifesto and my first few posts about this project in the weeks leading up to 2018, I did so with the anticipation that if I was so audacious, so bold as to start my challenge on January 1, choosing to defy the demons who plague all New Year’s Resolutions, choosing to defy my injury while not yet being fully recovered, that I would wait to begin writing about it. I would give it at least 30 days, maybe more, before I’d start writing about my project publicly.

But I am a writer. And not a very bright one, at that.

So I’m starting now.

Outside Day 14.