Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. -Robert F. Kennedy
Starting any exercise program can be harrowing. It's often made me ponder these two questions:
1. WHY DO WE EVER GET OUT OF SHAPE.
2. ONCE WE DO, WHY DO WE EVER TRY TO GET BACK INTO SHAPE?
Seriously! It's not like trying to get back into shape isn't an exercise in self abuse. It's painful. It's exhausting. It's humiliating, and the process is so painfully slow that it takes the patience of a saint to hang in there till our efforts begin to show even the slightest improvement.
I have two friends with an interesting take on this. The first says: "I didn't have to work too hard to put this fat on so it doesn't seem fair that I should have to put in so much effort to get it off." She has a point. (But when she combs her hair just so, no one even notices.)
The second friend said: The most liberating day of my life was the day I could stop asking "Do I look fat in this?" because the answer will always be yes.
Sadly, I did get out of shape and now I'm trying to regain some degree of fitness and it hasn't been without trials. At first, my body creaked and complained with each attempt at exercise. My brain worked overtime thinking of great excuses to put it off just one more day but after strapping on my Fitbit I've never looked back, (except to see if my sister or niece are on my heels trying to overtake my step total.) I've fought back against the reluctance of my flab, persevered, and finally hit my stride.
I was reaching my daily step goals and keeping up with my kinswomen on a pretty regular basis. The 10,000 steps that seemed impossible in the beginning became a daily routine and THEN - just as I was safely settled into my brand new comfort zone, a whole new challenge presented itself. A group of complete strangers challenged me to a competition.
I could have pretended the email went to my spam file - or that there was some cyber goof and just ignored it. (There are days my feet and legs wish I had done just that!) These people - a group of 8 - make my sister and niece look perfectly sane and if you've read my prior posts you know that's not even close to the truth! They are mostly a group of no holds barred, take no prisoners, fitness aficionados! I find myself checking my progress against the grid often because if I blink someone has overtaken me and I'm up and running again! I'm wondering if they invited me in the beginning just to make themselves look good.
Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional. -Roger Crawford
Is this easy? Heck no. But then again, how long would I have made any progress if I'd found a groove and stuck there? I'd already found a groove before Fitbit. A comfy, cozy groove that was getting tighter and tighter against my hips and thighs.
The new group is made of up both men and women who are all fiercely competitive, with the exception of Katy who seems to at least get off the couch with some degree of regularity if only to use the restroom and get ice-cream. So far the women are beating up on the men with reckless abandon. Jason's pride seems to be kicking in now and he and I are usually neck in neck. (Even as I type, he's sneaked past me again.) Curses!
There is one woman in the group, we'll call her Lyn, (because that's her name,) who is either a track star who spends all day running or a stay at home mom who's put her Fitbit on her 4 year old because she's racking up CRAZY step totals that make the rest of us look like we're having ice-cream with Katy.
As hard as it is to keep up at the moment, I'm right where I need to be and here's why:
If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are? -T.S. Eliot
Always choose people that are better than you. Always choose people that challenge you and are smarter than you. Always be the student. Once you find yourself to be the teacher, you’ve lost it. -Sandra Bullock
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. -Helen Keller
I can't stand still and grow (or in this case shrink). I need to continue to stretch myself and my commitment to living a more active life. I may never hit Lyn's step totals but I'm pretty sure I was a lot closer to Katy's when I started and I didn't believe I'd make it this far back then either so who knows?!
I'm proud to report that yesterday I finished in 2nd place with Jason close on my heels. Lyn wiped the floor with all of us so I'm pretending she's an outlier.
I'm excited to see what the future holds - more excited than I've been in a long time. I love knowing I'll have the energy for it no matter what it is.
The invitation is still open to jump in anytime you're ready. Post your progress on here and share your glitches and glories. The accountability of having to report to all of you helps me keep putting one foot in front of the other. Until next time - keep moving!