Be the tortoise, not the hare

Be the tortoise, not the hare

The best advice you’ll ever get, you are probably long familiar with: Be the tortoise, not the hare.

Remember the phrase, slow and steady wins the race? That, is what I’m talking about. And it applies to your fitness goals just as much as it applies to any other life goal. Be the tortoise, not the hare.

So when it comes to fitness and my training clients, why would I wish them to go slow? Certainly when it comes to your health, the sooner you get it in line, the better, right? Not so fast, rabbit.

When it comes to your health and fitness it is important to find consistency and ditch that all-to-nothing attitude. It’s important to learn to balance life and fun and work and play and treats and nutrition — because that’s what life’s all about! It’s a constant dance, a balancing act, and it’s important to not let a missed workout or a day of poor eating throw you off so hard you stop in your tracks. It’s important to know that if you take one step forward each day, a few steps backwards here and there won’t hurt.

Success is the sum of small steps repeated daily over time. Success, is consistency. Success, is being the slow but steady tortoise when motivation tempts you to fly out to the gate like a hare. I know you get it, so let’s talk specifics. What does that look like for you? It depends of your current fitness and health habits, of course. So without knowing where you’re at right now, I’ll tell you this: think of where you are and where you want to be, and break that up into phases. Don’t move to the next phase until you’ve mastered the previous!

Going from working out sporadically to your ideal five times a week is a big jump if you’re just starting out — so begin by shooting for two to three gym workouts a week. If you struggle with accountability, find a class or hire a trainer so you KNOW you’ll show up! If you wish to build strength, add in lifting but be sure to allow yourself time to rest! Work with a trainer to find out exactly how hard you should push yourself and how to recover — I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people start too heavy and feel discouraged by days and days of soreness, giving up before they even truly get started.

Fitness is a marathon, not a sprint. So keep a pace that is right for YOU, that you know you can maintain and build upon. Avoid the overwhelm and take small steps consistently. Hire a trainer to guide you and help set a good pace, find an accountabilibuddy to keep you moving forward, and remember when you start thinking all-or-nothing’s, slow but STEADY wins the race.