Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Slow Way Forward

Muhammad Ali once described his boxing style as "float like a butterfly, sting like a bee". If I could describe my progress in getting fitter, it would be "work like a dog, advance like a snail." Not nearly as poetic, or fun.

So I've been working out for an hour a day quite consistently for three weeks now. Net progress as far as numbers are concerned? Zero. Actually, I've gone backward. I've gained one pound. I feel achy a lot more than I used to feel. And stiff.

No, I haven't been eating stupidly. Yes, I have been exercising smartly and intensely (at least for a guy in his 50's.) Stetching? Check. Recovery time? Check. Supplements? Check.

I'd love to say "I'm building muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat." But I haven't noticed any new muscles bulging when I flex. I'd love to say "no pain, no gain", but so far it's only been pain, no gain. I need to get my numbers checked - blood pressure, cholesterol levels, etc. I fear that if I do, I'll find they might be heading in the wrong direction, too.

It's discouraging to work and not see results. Any results. Yeah, I know that if I keep at it they will come. But really, 21 days and no discernable progress? For a results-oriented kind of person like me, this is aggravating.

As I ponder this, I am reminded that I am attempting to adopt a new kind of lifestyle. A better style of living. A lifestyle isn't about quick returns. It take a lot of time to fully conform to a different lifestyle, and it takes even more time for the results of that lifestyle to fully kick in.

It was a style of life that got me to where I am now: slowly, steadily, surely. It is a style of life that will take me to where I want to go: slowly, steadily, surely. I am challenged to embrace the lifestyle, in all it's pain and frustation and lack of short-term progress. For the magic of a lifestyle is unleashed over time.

Keep crawling forward...

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