Persistence Pays Off

I went a week without going to the gym, but my trainer, bless her heart, didn’t give me a hard time about it. Part of it was that even though I didn’t make it to the gym, I still exercised. At my last appointment, my physical therapist said that I’ll probably have to do ab workouts and either squats or upright leg presses a few times a week for the rest of my life to keep my hip strong. If I can’t get to the gym, I still do my abs and my squats.

The other reason she didn’t give me a hard time is that I’ve been consistently persistent for the last three years. Even when I hit bad patches–when I somehow don’t have the energy or the will to fight darkness, cold or crowds–I don’t give up. I don’t think one bad week means I’m a failure, or that it’s over. It just means I had a bad week. It happens.

Of course, it’s taken me a few years to understand this. The first time I hit a bad patch, on some level I panicked, thinking that this was the beginning of the end, that I was thisclose to quitting…and I didn’t want to quit. I panicked a little the second time and the third, but each time the panic has lessened, because I have the experience of getting over the bad patches, time and again, to draw on.

The other thing is that I’m starting to understand that this is a lifetime thing and, as with most lifetime things, there are ups and downs. It’s also true of lifetime things that it’s the long view that matters. It’s not necessarily how the week went, or even the month went, it’s how I’m doing over the course of years. In the course of three years, I’ve been persistent, stubborn and dedicated. That’s the trend that matters, that’s the trend I need to trust, not the week I chose not to go to the gym because I thought I needed my sleep more. (My gym is too crowded at night, so I really have to go early in the morning.)

This whole experience reminds me that sticking to things matters, and that anything is possible if you just keep at it.

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