Recently I was reading an article about avoiding stupidity. Ironically, only that morning I had left the house with a vest stuck in the back of my jeans. Not the vest I was wearing you understand, the one I’d sidelined to put in the wash that had been ‘scooped up’ into the arse of my jeans as I inserted my legs in. It was not a good start!
Anyway, the article here https://fs.blog/2014/06/avoiding-stupidity/ highlights a point that has been key in my strategy for life. You don’t need to be brilliant, you just need to be better than the person next to you.
To that end G and are are trying to introduce healthier habits rather than resolutions into our life. The first is achieving 10,000 steps a day. Well, actually that’s not strictly true – our Garmins have set us steps according to their aspirations for our sporting goals (I can only assume). Actually, it adjusts based on previous activity recorded it meant that G, at one point was up over 13,000 while mine was a more modest 7,000. Clearly the watch knows me well.
This meant I was able to watch G march up and down our hall from the comfort of the sofa while I
laughed looked on with a cup of tea in hand, (being naturally lazy has it’s advantages). Success is hit and miss at the moment – the downside of having a sedentary job – but counting steps does motivate us to move more, so its successful in that regard.
The other strategy for success that people do have high regard for is the motivation of others. This is also topical right now.
Many years ago in this blog and the now deceased shop blog – I may have mentioned a lady called J. J came to us via the beginners group in May 2010. It would be fair to say that her fitness base was poor. But even on that first day, she increased her chances of improving her health and fitness significantly. 100% better than sitting on the couch. Despite struggling with week 1 of the beginners running course (and against the odds – attrition rates are high for people who perceive themselves to be slower in the group) she came back the next week and the next and the next.
She kept coming back until, nine years later, it was a privilege to attend her 100th parkrun.
We are sold the message that consistency is king. I have never seen anyone execute it better than Jean. In the last nine years, not only has she taken up running and completed 101 parkruns to date, she has also added two half marathons, a ten miler and several 10ks to the list. There are other tangible benefits, decreased blood pressure, less reliance on medication; weight loss; increased mental health benefits; lasting friendships; contribution to others welfare through volunteering her time at other events. The list goes on. Were those intentions on the list on Day 1? I doubt it. But of course, not all benefits of our actions are obvious at the time.
The one thing I do know is rather than throwing everything in the air, hoping all would fall in perfect alignment; Jean opted for a sustainable habit change. I hope her quiet determination to keep going is motivation for those who think they have left it too late.
So, the message here is twofold. Firstly, you don’t have to be the best. You don’t even have to dream of being the best. You just have to avoid being the worse.
And secondly, find your hero. We are told not all heroes wear capes. I don’t know about yours but mine wears a Run to Live running top and goes about her life in a quiet, modest, yet determined way and I have more to be grateful to her for than I can say.