A Great Big Fall…A Story of Falling Out of Routine
Imagine you're scaling a mountain, the first few miles you're slow and steady. You want to ease into the journey because the goal that lies in front of you is inevitably very daunting. Somewhere along the way, your body has found the rhythm. You keep going one foot in front of the other. Further up the mountain, you're keeping a good pace. You're getting higher and higher towards the summit. It's a euphoric experience. You begin to think that all of the doubt you were feeling at the beginning of your journey was silly because you're now doing it. You're proud.
Now imagine that just as you're getting to the top, you lose your balance. You trip off the side of this mountain. You start to tumble, grasping at the mountainside. You're hoping to regain your balance, but nothing happens. You keep tumbling until you come to a stop at the base of the mountain. When you're able to stand back up, it's like all the progress you made was useless, like it was for nothing. To top it all off, you feel like you just got hit by a bus.
That's how it felt for me to fall off the wagon with my workout schedule. Because when I fall, I fall hard. Every day I woke up and trained for 2 1/2 hours. I felt amazing. It was a basic staple in my routine. I was scaling the mountaintop. I was making progress every day. It was euphoric. Then I stumbled. The one day I didn't make it into the gym, turned into two days. Two days turned into six months. And at the time I was almost happy to fail. The happiness I felt in creating such a regimented schedule rivaled the rapture of just throwing it all to the wind and saying "f*** it."
It felt good to be strangers with my treadmill. I relished in my laziness. The big question is, why? Why was it so easy for me to tumble down the side of the mountain after all of the hard work I'd put in? The answer was simple. I had the wrong motivation.
After my car accident, the majority of my family members were convinced that I would never be the same again. They believed I would be a slave to a cane or my ankle brace for the rest of my life. Everyone looked at me with pity in their eyes and judgment in their hearts. I took that as fuel and ran with it. I was determined to prove them all wrong. I was spiteful. That spite made me feel powerful. I worked out every day and always while someone was home. Someone was always watching. I felt I needed to validate my progress by making sure they knew about it.
When a business emergency took the peanut gallery away for an extended period of time, I didn't have anyone to show off for anymore. I didn't have that spiteful validation anymore. Without the watchful eyes of my family around me, my motivation disappeared.
If I could go back and start over, I would find the right motivation from the start. I would put my butt in gear because I wanted to lead a healthier lifestyle for myself alone. Health is such a personal journey. While the spite made me feel powerful, it wasn't sustainable to my goals.
I fell off the mountain, but I'm not sad about it because I know I can climb that same mountain again. I'm wiser this time around. I can course correct the places where I made mistakes before. The journey back to the top will be quicker this time because I'm familiar with the route. This time I have the right motivation. I have the right pace. I know what I'm capable of and I'm damn proud. Just because you have to try your hand at something more than once, doesn't mean you should feel any less proud once you accomplish it.
But please tell me I'm not the only one who has fallen off their routine. How long did it take you to start again? And why did you stumble in the first place?
Until next time…