Friday, August 3, 2007
See the "P"s - Perseverance
P#3: Perseverance – This is the old “stick to it” advice you’ve heard with every exercise program you’ve ever started, read about or seen on TV. The reason you see it so much is that it really is the heart of everything.
Regardless of progression or how much faith you have in your effort, no matter what new piece of exercise equipment you have or how beautiful your walking trail is, you have to get up and do something to get the benefits. As long as you keep doing things, the good stuff will keep happening. Sure, there are lots of special things you can do to make yourself faster or stronger or make your workouts more efficient but the absolute most important thing is to simply get out and do something!
There will be days when you are too sick or the weather is absolutely atrocious. There will always be excuses and often good reasons why you cannot do your exercise thing. The trick is to move your valuable exercise routine up (way up !) in the list of your priorities.
I’m sure that my athletes over the years got sick of me saying, “You’ll never find enough time to run, you have to MAKE time”. The interesting thing is that, as you invest more in it, your exercise routine takes on a higher value in your mind. You will have invested so much in your efforts that you will want to keep adding to it so as not to lose the value of what you have already put in.
Finally, a word on being “too tired” for your work out. This can actually happen – extra and unaccustomed physical work can bring you to the point where exercise may be neither wise nor beneficial. However, before you give in to being too tired, ask yourself why you are feeling this way. If there is no obvious answer, don’t believe the tired feeling and get up and go. This was never more evident to me than when I was teaching at Riverside and would come home after a long day and have to go out for my run. Most days I felt totally exhausted and struggled to even get up the stairs to put on my running gear. Amazingly, after my run I almost always felt better – invigorated enough to do a few yard chores before even coming back into the house. What I was feeling before the run was mental fatigue and what my body needed most – physical exercise – was the thing I felt least like doing.