Back in the saddle again.
These last weeks there have been so many pulls on my time and energy that I've felt like stretch-arm strong. I wonder if they still make stretch-arm strong. I imagine not--I think he was filled with plutonium anyway.
So yes, very busy. Here's a point that I'd like to make for people who get stressed and busy and decide to ditch their workouts. It's a bad idea, but if you miss a workout or two...just MISS A WORKOUT. It's like movie where Robin Williams tells the guy "You're either a smoker or a non-smoker. Decide what you are and be that." (what movie WAS that? Can't remember, post to comments...Insomnia, maybe?) If you need to miss a workout, miss it and move on.
I rarely hold myself up as an example of How To Do Things Right, especially because in this case I'm usually pretty bad at it. The poet Seamus Heaney gave what I think is the most brilliant commencement speech ever by refusing to offer Life Tips the the graduates ("...and that, my friends, is how I got to be a Nobel-prizewinning poet!"). He just said, You'll find your own way; nothing from my experience is really going to be applicable or helpful because my path, like yours, is totally unique. He then quoted a nursery rhyme about trying again and again in spite of failure and hardship (sort of an Irish version of "The Itsy Bitsy Spider"), and went on his way:
Getting started, keeping going, getting started again -- in art and in life, it seems to me this is the essential rhythm not only of achievement but of survival, the ground of convinced action, the basis of self-esteem and the guarantee of credibility in your lives, credibility to yourselves as well as to others.
Seamus Heaney rocks, and what he says here applies as much to exercise as it does to, well, life in general, success in the job market, and on and on. It's the 'getting started again' part that tends to trip people up; we tend to be very all-or-nothing. I got a call from an old friend not too long ago who had been away from exercise for awhile, who proclaimed that he wanted to start doing some intense running with a club twice a week, an adult gymnastics class once a week, a boot-camp style strength-and-cardio class another two times a week, and wanted my advice on what kind of strength training he should do to fill in the gaps.Â
Er, gaps?? I told him to give his plan a try as it was with no ancillary work and see if he was even able to handle that.
Now, I don't know how my buddy is going to fare on this program, but the average person, jumping from zero to sixty in a workout program like that, will fall off the wagon in a couple of weeks, decide the whole enterprise isn't worth it, and go back to their formerly sedentary selves.
Much better to take on a realistic program, so you can CRUSH it when you're actually training, REST when you're resting, cut yourself a break when you miss workouts, and ease yourself back into the flow if you have to take some time off.
The AA approach--one slip and your dead--doesn't apply to working out. It only applies if you DECIDE it applies and decide to go on a month-long, no-exercise, pizza-and-doughnuts bender because you didn't make your traps and biceps day last Tuesday.
Missed workouts are gone. Let them go into the ether, and get back to your normal program at the soonest possible opportunity.
So what move is that quote from? It's going to drive me crazy.