It seems odd to me that of all the components to my fitness regimen, it’s my weight-lifting that’s going best. When I started this several months ago, I did so with a grudging heart.
Make no mistake: I do not love lifting weights. Sometimes it’s a chore. But it’s a chore I perform dutifully and well. Three mornings a week, I’m at the gym, following my plan. I’m making slow and steady progress. There’s something faintly pleasurable in the work and the routine.
Lately I’ve been asking myself why it is I’m able to follow my weight lifting plan so well, while the other aspects of my fitness have struggled. I think there are several parts to the explanation:
- I have a plan, and I stick to it. After each workout, I come home and I draft a schedule for my next workout. When I go to they gym, I follow the schedule. If something hurts, I back off.
- I came into weight lifting as a novice. (Hell, I’m still a novice.) Other than thinking lifters were meat-heads, I didn’t have any preconceived notions. (And I was wrong about that one!)
- I stay within myself. Partly because I’m afraid of hurting myself, and partly because I simply cannot lift more, I do not push ahead. There are weeks at a time during which I make no progress, but I don’t let it bother me. Over the past six weeks, for example, I’ve done the exact same bicep routine each time I work on my upper body. I haven’t bumped the weight at all. I’m okay with that. I know that eventually my arms will be strong enough to increase resistance. I have time.
- I’m not competing with anyone, not even myself. When I lift weights, it’s all inside. It’s all in my head. I don’t get mad at myself if I have a bad day, and I don’t get cocky if a lift is easy. All I do is focus on my daily plan.
I would love to find a way to apply these principles to the other two aspects of my fitness: aerobic exercise and food. In a way, Sally’s pursuit of self-care relies upon these techniques.
Could I really apply them to other parts of my life? I’ve always been a measurer. (Just last week I talked about tracking my calories again with FitDay, for example.) Could I really do aerobic exercise without measuring every little piece of data? Could I just go run for the sake of running?
I don’t know, but it’s something to think about.