Fitness | Exercise | Habits | Health

A Place for Consistency

Two weeks goes by so very quickly. If you don’t prioritize exercise you might find that the days slip by without really doing much of anything. But when you do focus on exercise, what can you accomplish in so short a time? Two weeks ago I decided to find out.

I chose to row 5000 meters per day at 75-80% intensity. The first row reminded me that I hadn’t done it for some time, but I was patient with myself anyway. The second row reminded me that I know how to do this when I put my mind into it. And so it progressed with each row, as I relearned the rhythm of the stroke that has been with me since I was 18 years old. It works out to be roughly 500 strokes each workout, which doesn’t sound like a lot until you push yourself through them.

And then I traveled, visiting seven states in three days. I was concerned I’d broken the habit of exercise and blown up my fortnight experiment. But I came back and hopped on and told myself to just get through it no matter what. And I hit broke my previous times during the previous streak. There’s a place for rest in your exercise routine. And there’s a place for consistency.

The entire point is to establish the habit of movement. To pick something you love and maybe hate just a little and get after it consistently, no matter what your mind comes up with as an excuse. I used to travel a lot, so rowing was problematic for me. Then the pandemic hit and in theory I should have been rowing every day for 18 months. It turned out to be far less consistent, but I chose hiking, long walks and swimming laps as my go-to’s. Not rowing but still productive motion.

When you do a specific exercise almost every day you learn to listen to your body instead of your mind. Your body wants to be in motion, the mind wants to be left alone. At least until you trick it into believing something within you is incomplete until you get back to it, today. And every subsequent day too.

Today I begin another business travel journey. I know I can’t row during that time, but I can jump right back onto the erg when I return. Or not… the choice is ours, isn’t it? I have a streak to break on my next fortnight of exercise. Best to get right to it as soon as I can.

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