Resolve To Be Imperfect

I don't have much faith in New Year's "Resolutions."  Too often, there's not much "resolve" involved, and resolve is a learned skill: if you practice, it gets stronger; let yourself off the hook, and it atrophies.

It's no secret that January is the biggest month in the fitness world, cash-wise.  January 1 is packaged as a physical "reset" – a chance to start from scratch, from absolute zero, from ground level.  It's far from perfect, though: your blood sugar levels are probably still scattered from the Immaculate Consumption of the holiday season.  The nights are long and cold.  You're full of SAD-induced self-doubt.  In short, you're an easy sell for a good membership coordinator.


If you're returning to exercise from a long bout without – even if it's been since childhood – your resolution should be this: start something.  Still be doing it February first.  That's it.  Stop looking for the perfect solution; it isn't out there.  There's no perfect program.  You can't out-exercise a bad diet.  Likewise, diet without exercise will do really bad things to you in the long term.  Dr. Phil isn't a solution (just look at Oprah.)  Gardening, shopping, and walking the dog are NOT enough.  The Canada food pyramid relies too heavily on grains – you're better to simply stick to the perimeter in the grocery store (you can call it the Canada Food Circle if you like.)

If you're already exercising, push harder.  Yes, your form may suffer a bit – but it won't go from 100% to 0%.  In fact, if your form is always perfect, I have serious doubts about your intensity.  Add a stopwatch.  Eliminate your rest intervals.  Mix heavy strength training with anaerobic work. 


Just jump.  The chute will open. Don't wait for someone to push you (right side.)

 If you're already doing CrossFit, stop 'parceling' your reps.  DON'T wait until you're ready to do 15 box jumps; do 1 box jump RIGHT NOW!  THEN decide on the second. And while you're deciding, think this: "It's not going to hurt more than the last one.  Could I live through that last one again?"  Yes, you can.  And when that stops working, think THIS: "If this were my LAST rep, would I be resting right now?" 

Best case, if you're doing your workouts with a good coach at your shoulder, are you doing your best to exceed their demands, or waiting for them to drag you down the path?  My happiest moments are when I ask for 5 more box jumps – and you hit seven.  

Make a mess.  Get dirty.  Sweat.  Drop things.  Cheer out loud.  Come undone.  Forget about your war paint, and sharpen your spear instead.  

Start with something, and stick with it until something more intriguing comes along.  Grow laterally as well as vertically.  Place yourself in an environment of common effort.  Live up to that standard.  Come back with your shield, or ON your shield. 

Above all, it's gotta be now. There's no perfect time.  Go.