Happy Holidays team.
I have to admit, it has been much of a holiday around the gym. Aside from still jumping out of bed today to run some classes (cheers to Elie for the assist!), yesterday was spent laying a whole heap of new flooring in the boxing gym (the first stage of what will hopefully be a ‘BIGGER’ project), not to mention the work late last week to install a series of fans into the strength gym. I know, I know…those guys get everything. Well, except FANS. And MUSIC. Though I guess at least now the “FANS” box has been ticked! Back to the new flooring, I think it looks amazing – many thanks to Coach Corey, Vanessa and Marshall for all of their help (Team Work makes the Dream Work) – and further, really does make the whole place a bit more ‘FUNCTIONAL’.
As another 28-Days-Later Challenge winds down, I have been doing lots of talking and lots of thinking about ‘HOW’ it works and ‘WHY’ some people are able to succeed ‘inside’ the bounds of the challenge but struggle to stay ‘on-track’ outside of challenge time. I guess to a degree I am 100% in that category – when the challenge(s) roll around I have really no problem sticking to the rules…but outside of that, well, not so much.
There are a few parts to it I guess. The first part is the ‘confined’ time-frame of a challenge – you can do ‘ANYTHING’ for a short-time. Then there is the part that once you have ‘lived’ the challenge rules successfully ONCE – or have spoken to other people who have – you have a bit of a ‘I can DO that’ approach to the whole thing. But there is something a little bit more than that.
I have been thinking about the challenge as an ‘elastic band’ analogy. The challenge doesn’t ‘stop you’ from eating/drinking what you most probably shouldn’t – you get a couple of cheat days for free and the capacity to add a couple of extras for what is pretty minimal effort (spending 30-minutes on one of the bikes). So…you have a bit of capacity to ‘stretch the rules’. But what you don’t have is the ability to ‘BREAK’ them.
I talk about this a bit but it seems to me that most of our ‘WORST’ food/drink habits kind of sneak up on us. We ALL want to ‘live’ and ‘love’ our lives…which for a lot of people means socialising on a Saturday afternoon/evening, having a couple of drinks, maybe some pizza…whatever your personal preference might be. And that’s all good. And that’s one of the reason we train so hard all week. But then.
One weekend you have the Saturday night thing planned, but then we are exhausted on Friday after a long-week at work – so it is takeaway burgers and beers to de-stress. Of course, plans are plans, and Saturday remains full-steam ahead. The problem is (of course), that like it or not you have now given yourself ‘permission’ for burgers and beers NEXT Friday night. Because NEXT week at work is going to be stressful and you are going to be tired on Friday and you wont WANT to cook. The elastic band is stretching.
But then. After the Friday night, you sleep in a little bit longer than you should and you don’t quite get to the gym. And you are running late to kids netball. So ‘breakfast’ becomes hot chips and gravy from the canteen. The problem? Well, the problem isn’t eating the chips on ONE Saturday…that is neither here nor there. The problem is that doing it once is kind of giving yourself permission to do it again…especially if YOUR mum and dad used to buy you chips from the canteen (or take you to McDonalds after the game!) as a kid. The elastic band is REALLY stretching now.
Sunday afternoon. It’s sunny and you are by the pool. Or it’s raining and you are flaked out on the couch. In either case, you have a wine or beer in your hand, maybe a plate of dip and crackers – just “chillaxin’”. Sounds pretty good right. Again though, this is the sort of thing that you CANNOT DO on the challenge – I mean, you can sit around the pool with a soda water (and that’s 100% what I have been doing!) and it is pretty nice. But once the soda water becomes a beer on ONE Sunday, well, that elastic band is going to S-T-R-E-E-E-E-T-C-H and what do you think is going to happen the following week.
What causes the elastic band to break? What causes all the lessons learned in the challenges to be lost/forgotten so easily? What is it that means we can ‘stick to the rules’ for a month…but then all of a sudden find ourselves 3-weeks into a rhythm that includes alcohol every day from Thursday to Sunday? How does it happen? How does it happen when at the end of each ‘Challenge’ all of the conversations around the gym are about ‘keeping it going for another month’. How does it happen?
What I DO know is that it creeps up on you. The elastic band stretches and stretches with every transgression until it finally breaks and tying the thing back together again, well, it’s really hard. Life is ALL about balance though…you have to understand that it is 100% OK to STRETCH the elastic – one of the reasons you work so hard in the gym is so you can relax, socialise, let your hair down. But you have to be able to identify those times in your own life when it is ‘just about’ to break and take some action.
Well done with the challenge everyone – looking forward to another month of kicking goals in March!
See you in the gym,
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