Sticking with it isn’t easy. Some days it feels downright impossible. But that really is the key–if you can master that, you can pretty much do anything.
Underneath that simple thought somewhere is the necessity of doing the work to figure yourself out well enough to understand what it is that you can stick to. Aim to high and you’ll quit (probably sooner than later). Aim to low and you don’t reach your potential.
For me it’s about 5 workouts a week–three short but high intensity ‘cardio’ efforts, and two single set max effort bodweight sets, one of chin-ups and one of push-ups. My total training time varies between 40 and 90 minutes a week, give or take. It doesn’t seem like much, but it’s enough for me. In truth, it is about all I can maintain. Occasionally I’ll get more–some sort of longer effort–but I don’t count on it or need it. I work hard and keep at it and it keeps me pretty darn fit.
The last couple days were a challenge though–cold and snow and a major hassle just to keep warm (the ‘cottage’ we’re living in doesn’t have heat yet…). And there are the daily trips to the library for internet (don’t have that at the cottage yet either) to spend a fun couple of hours in front of the computer doing taxes. Then family dinners before everything gets dark by 6:30 because, you guessed it, the cottage doesn’t have electricity yet either.
I‘m not really complaining though–the cold snap also means cozy family cuddles on the couch under heaps of blankets and sleeping bags watching torrented movies on the chromebook (“Trash” was on tap tonight) before a bit of bedtime Harry Potter (just starting book six) for the boys. La Dolce Vita, really, but not quite ideal for motivating training.
That, though is the challenge. And whether it’s living in a cottage chock full of good excuses not to go outslde or a long day at the office, it’s all the same. If you decide you want something, to pursue something, you also have to decide to commit to the journey it’s going to take to get there. No one else can do it, and most of these goals we opt to go after take pretty long journeys. It’s not the first day on the path that is the hard one. Or the second. Or the fine days. It’s the snowy, cold, miserable ones.
So yesterday, between bouts of sleet, I managed to steal outside and get my hill intervals in (UM training file #7). And tonight–after Harry Potter, after I’d polished off the rather too cold bottle of Gewurstminer that had been sitting with a glass and a half left in it on the dark kitchen counter while watching the movie, after I’d eaten the rest of the sour gummies the kids got to pick out for a ‘it’s cold outside so lets eat candy’ treat, but before brushing my teeth–I did my pushups.
I did the slow ones–one rep every 10 seconds. I failed on the 13th, a new record for me (six months ago I could barely get 9). I guess it means I’m improving. Stick with it–even during the snow days–and whatever your goal might be, you will be too.