So. I wanted to share a success with you! Or, rather, I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t close the loop on an earlier post. And the success took a shape quite different than I expected.
If you’re thinking ‘differently shaped success’ sounds like code for failure, I commend you on your discerning ear. And I invite you to broaden your thinking and let the joy come in.
Around about November 13th I embarked on a 28-day exercise challenge and today, January 13th, I finished! I am so proud of myself!
You know, a reasonably satisfied sort of pride.
Clearly, it took a bit longer than planned, and a person could make the argument that the very essence of a 28 day program is that one completes it in 4 weeks. A stickler might go so far as to say 29 days is a fail. Phooey on them.
I have breathed the ambulance exhaust perfumed air of the last place runner in too many road races to quibble about finish times. A finish, even a gasping one, is a finish. Period.
Oh dear, I feel a digression coming on. I must take this moment on my little blog soap box to lobby Ambulance Drivers everywhere. If you are staffing a fun run and God bless you truly for giving up your Saturday, could you kindly stay well back from the last runner? That is a person who needs fresh air. We’ll signal or sink to the ground when we need you. Thank you. End of digression.
To recap, not only did each and every daily routine take me twice as many minutes as it was supposed to, the entire program took me twice as many days.
There were some delays, some involving cake, a couple of holidays, and a body tweak unrelated to the exercise program that hindered my progress. In all cases, I opted to walk it off. You really have to keep slugging when it comes to health and fitness, don’t you? Cortisol levels will not listen to reason and circulation doesn’t give a hoot about social obligations, scheduling conflicts, or that crunchy pain that you think probably doesn’t warrant an x-ray in a pandemic. You simply must wiggle something every day, even if its a pinkie or your eyebrows.
There is a food-diary element as well which I disregarded upon reading. It involves writing down everything you eat and why. I just don’t have that kind of time. I’m a spooner. When I get hungry or have a feeling I eat a spoonful of something…yogurt, peanut butter, hummus, tapioca if I’m lucky. It’s a tough place to find a clean teaspoon when Handsome Husband wants to make cup of tea.
“Why are there 13 dirty spoons in the sink?” he asked…once.
Initially I was most attracted by the program’s motivational component.
Along with six physical routines each week, there is a fun, spirit-boosting habit to start. Participants are encouraged to start a gratitude journal, make a goal-oriented bulletin board and revisit that thing you wanted to learn (like salsa dancing or playing the guitar). I took a ‘pick and choose’ attitude to these. I wasn’t up for learning a new thing so close on the heels of learning the basics of WordPress. (I didn’t say ‘proficient’ in the language. If WordPress were a country, I’d be the one in the town square yelling,“WHERE IS THE TOILET?!” with a WordPress accent.)
So I felt maxed out on acquiring skills just then and I stopped being grateful on Day 19, but I still spend time admiring my goal-oriented bulletin board every day.
For these and other reasons (I modified exercises and made substitutions when it seemed prudent), I must disqualify myself from officially reviewing the program, or even naming it again frankly. My pro basketball player turned fitness trainer hero deserves a fair shake.
What I was a stickler for was a warm up, completing the exercises, stretching and meditating post workout. I can report that I lost 2 ½ inches in girth, and gained 1 lb. My pride won’t allow me to inquire if Handsome Husband “fixed” the scale again. I believe in calibrating them with dumbbells from time to time, while Greg likes a simple “0” before he steps on.
But reviewing an exercise program is not what this is about anyway.
Well, not now.
What I learned is that what really motivates me to produce quantifiable results -even more than my goal-oriented bulletin board – is being accountable to someone.
If I hadn’t shared my goal with you, I think I may have let that particular training sheet conveniently slip under the couch when I encountered the third or fourth obstacle. I may have defaulted to the status quo, which is not terrible but is not progress. But who would care? Who would take me to task? I need that!
I pushed myself pretty hard just imagining that you might ask for a report back.
Somewhere I read that we each have our goal-setting style. Identifying that style is key to success. Some people, like me, get things done only when they have to report in and share results.
There are exciting applications here for the other facets of my life.