There is no room for instant gratification when it comes to fitness. We live in a world that is driven by instant results; cell phones, computers, cars, even cooking, can deliver results immediately. But when it comes to our exercise goals, we need to kick the instant gratification need out the door. My friend Alan Tyson, physical therapist and owner of Architech Sports and Physical Therapy, works with lots of athletes and deals with injuries often, and with those who are trying to get back into action. He knows that most of us want results quickly, but he also knows that sometimes the long term outlook is crucial to success.
Alan likes to quote Thomas Edison who, when asked when he would stop working said, “I guess the day before I die”. In other words we should be working towards goals that are life-long, not just short term, especially when it comes to our health and well-being. According to Alan, consistency is the key to anything we decide to pursue wholeheartedly in our life. When it comes to training, there should be no real destination, no end, and certainly no merit for instant gratification. Alan says that consistency demonstrates two important characteristics: discipline and perserverence.
Have we been consistent in our efforts toward fitness? Have we been motivated by goals, whether long term, like feeling better and gaining strength, or short term like losing a certain amount of weight or running a race? Regardless of whether our goals are specific or broad, when we are consistent, we can make progress. “Where we are right now in life is a result of the things we have done up to this point”, says Alan, who admits this can be a hard thing to swallow in terms of our fitness. Maybe our work up to this point has been inconsistent and has lacked discipline. If this is the case, Alan suggests deciding right now where it is we want to go. Set a goal and begin with baby steps, but take some steps each day. Have patience, but keep ourselves accountable. This is where the rubber hits the road…where discipline meets perseverance. The result is consistency, and where we have consistency, we have a better chance at success!
Do you have fitness goals? Have you been consistent in working toward them?