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  January 2, 1999



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New year a time to climb to even greater heights
By BRET"The Hitman" Hart -- For the Calgary Sun
  Happy New Year. Is it just me, or did it feel different when you made your New Year's resolution this year? I mean, somehow the usual pledges to stay in shape and clean out the junk closet just don't seem to be adequate declarations of self-faith for the coming of a new millennium. On the other hand, there's already too much misplaced guilt in all those little promises we make and break to ourselves year after year, but can you imagine, instead of saying, "... so what you'll get to that next year..." it'll carry the extra baggage of "... you jerk, it's the year 2000 and you're still procrastinating."

 I weighed and measured this year's resolutions, carefully picking those that would serve as my best last-ditch scramble to take care of unfinished business before the end of the century. Instead of looking ahead, I found myself looking back to sometime around high school when "tonight I'm gonna party till 1999" seemed eons away. Now the incredible thing is that somehow I really did party till 1999. I followed my belief that if you work hard, fear nothing, and give into loneliness you can succeed and despite bouncing down the inevitable rocky roads that, from time to time, life challenges us to navigate, I'm amazed at how far I've gone. I've climbed higher than I ever imagined despite some hard falls.

 I don't think getting up and dusting yourself off gets easier because the challenges get tougher. Problems that seemed nearly insurmountable before are only annoyances now. I don't know if you really do get wiser as you get older, but I do think that wisdom is born from the courage to learn from experience and the strength to change the conventions of the past.

 For me, when you can't hear the beat of your own drummer it's time to get quiet and get in sync. Don't sweat the small stuff. For the big stuff, don't make decisions while you're still sweating. The realization that we only live once feels too limiting. I find it's a more uplifting viewpoint that if you take good care of yourself, with a little luck, you might get about 35,000 shots at the perfect day. You're bound to get a few of them right if you don't set your ideal of perfection so high that you feel disappointment, instead of accomplishment, at simple pleasures. I try not to cling to the habits that made an imperfect yesterday and find the bravery to explore an uncharted tomorrow in the comfort of knowing that if you get lost your heart leads you home.

 In the coming year, I resolve that I will have more soul food. The stuff your soul needs to stay in tune and quietly drown out the din. Like ... an hour per week in a good bookstore. More time with the kids. Family who need no explanations. Friendship that endures despite obstacles of time and distance.

 The seriousness of my introspection surprises me 'cause I'm a guy who believes you have to enjoy life while you can and grab the gold ring. While depth of character is important, without the acknowledgement that I am quite a character, the humour would be lost. I always try to retain the ability to laugh at myself.

 Wrestling is a great creative and frustrative outlet for me. As I fought my way up, I found out that life in the fast lane doesn't have any rest stops to savour precious moments. Being on top, in WCW, gives me the opportunity to finally have some fun in wrestling. Despite a nasty groin injury I'm feeling physically great and mentally sharp. I feel it in my gut that this year The Hitman is going to have some of the best matches ever. Next week I'll give you an exclusive sneak peak at the top 10 guys on my hit list. See if you can predict who they are. Also, with Kevin Nash ending Goldberg's amazing undefeated streak to become champion at the same time that Ric Flair wrestled control of WCW from Eric Bischoff -- I smell trouble brewing.

 See you next week and until then, keep the faith.

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