With the arrival of October and the fourth quarter it is time to think about what’s between now and the end of the year.
It has been insidiously tempting to give myself a break because of the progress made to date. For instance, my clothes fit better than they have in years. I even took the drastic step of altering many of my suits, sport jackets and slacks. Turning back is not an option. You can take clothes in and people won’t notice. Take them out and there is evidence.
Once such a plateau is reached, an army of external forces appears and challenges every effort you make — be it sinus infections, workout injuries or hitting the wall of burnout and fatigue.
Then you lose focus. My wife has long told my children that comparing to others will steal your joy. There is nowhere this principal is more true than in the gym (except for women, maybe the shoe department in Nordstrom’s.)
Measuring yourself by others is the worst thing you can do. Is it just me or do you do the same thing? Do you experience the seductive trap of wondering whether you could kick up your workout level to the next rung by watching “Joe” at the gym? I wonder if he works harder than me? Maybe Joe is a semi-pro athlete.
Maybe he is the most disciplined eater in the whole gym and has starved himself of carbs for the past six months. Maybe as a result he curls up in a fetal position every time he leaves the gym and goes to see his therapist to work on his emotional problems because of his excessive personal habits. Who knows?
Why compare to begin with? This is where I lose focus. My workout is my workout. I don’t even have to put my resistance setting on my bike where the teacher says if it does not help me reach my personal objectives. It may be a group class, but it is my workout.
We should encourage each other to be the best we can be and leave the competitiveness to their appropriate times and places.
Speaking of appropriate times and places for competition, the city of Tyler team led by City Manager Mark McDaniel left the Tyler Morning Telegraph team in the dust yesterday at the firefighters challenge.
McDaniel was a gracious victor and said that, in victory his team would join ours in fulfilling our duties as losers to perform community service by volunteering 10 hours at the food bank and Meals On Wheels and giving five pints of blood. Because of his largesse and that of his team, those numbers will be doubled.
Now that’s what I call healthy competition.