Recently, the local YMCA posted a picture on their Facebook page advertising all their updated work out equipment…new dumbbells, cable machines, benches and all the assorted accessories and weights. So, I decided to go back and check it out.
Being nearly a year since my last visit to this gym, I was impressed with the new layout of the floor and the equipment. Something caught my eye; nearly the same regular 5 a.m., crowd (about 25 people) was there.
When you are a regular at a gym, church, or wherever, you’ll notice how people use the same locker, sit in the same pew/aisle, etc. After a while, you register their patterns and their behavior becomes somewhat predictable. For example, there was the same older gentleman doing the same exercises on new equipment, the beefy dude doing the same beefy dude movements, the same endurance runner running on the new treadmill, and the same middle-aged mom on the new elliptical.
What really got me thinking was that they all looked the same to me as they did a year ago. None of the bodybuilders looked bigger and some of my flabbier acquaintances were still, uh, flabby.
Some people go to the gym to “maintain” their fitness or physique, but if you ask around, most people would say they have fitness goals.
What had these people not done differently in the last year? Why did it appear to me that they were in the same routine getting the same level of progress?
Mark Twain is credited as saying, “You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results.”
This applies to us in the gym, our marriages, our spiritual journey, our professions, our family, our parenting, ad nauseum.
Many years ago, I met a highly motivated individual named Jay Platt. I was on an assignment from a local newspaper to cover this man’s thru-hike of the Appalachian Trial.
Jay had recently been medically retired from the Marine Corps due to a rare form of cancer, and he was on a mission to raise awareness and money for cancer research. Jay was missing an eye and had tumors on his brain and spinal cord. He was an inspiration to many in many definitions of the word.
Jay raised about $100,000 on his thru-hike and left a life-long impression on me about what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ.
In his recent Huffington Post article, entitled “Do You Do It in the Rain?,” he had this to say about progress…
It was a cold January morning, and I was just finishing up a three-mile run. I was soaked to the bone. It had been raining when I started and was raining even heavier now. As I turned the corner to head home, a blue minivan pulled up beside me. The driver side window eased down a bit, and I could see it was my neighbor from up the street.
In a rather sarcastic voice, she said to me, “Don’t you know it’s raining out here? And they’re calling for more.” I just smiled and replied, “I know. I know.” I then continued on my way.
Her comments got me to thinking though, and so now I want to ask you. Do you do it in the rain? Well, do you?
Now, don’t misunderstand my question. I know I have been talking about running here, but “doing it in the rain” could be a lot of things. Anything that you really want.
I don’t know your answer, but I can tell you that most people simply do NOT do it in the rain. On a nice sunny day, sure. They are committed then. Big time. But not on the days when it’s nasty. When anyone with “good sense” would remain inside.
The truth is, if you want to accomplish the truly big goals in life you’re going to have to have the kind of mindset that will get you out there doing what you have to do. In good weather and bad. When you feel like it and when you don’t. Day in and day out.
Are you setting goals? Are you in a rut in your life? What needs to change in your life today?
As Jay points out, “Doing it in the rain” can make the difference between success and failure.
I know it’s hard to find a new fitness routine, change your diet, speak kind words to a spouse who has hurt you deeply, forgive a family member or friend. But it’s time.
For what’s it worth…I gained 20 pounds since last year and not the good kind of weight.