I read somewhere that people who start a new workout routine after the new year quit before the 3 week mark. If watching the trends at my gym and yoga studio are any indication, I’d say that’s true. Those first couple weeks are nuts, trying to carve out space and snag a cardio machine. Even my beloved 5 AM workouts can get hijacked by those looking to get in shape.
As much as I want to be annoyed by the extra crowds, I can’t help but feel disappointed in the fact that by February 1, those newcomers are usually nowhere to be found.
That said, there are always a few that sneak in and manage to make it. Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t the ones who started January 1 with a no-carb, sugar-free, paleo, zero-happiness diet combined with a P90X-style workout agenda after sitting on the couch for months at a time.
The ones who make it? They’re the ones who start by just showing up.
Sometime last spring, I started to notice a woman coming to my gym at 5 AM in the morning. It’s a small crowd of us that early, so I easily notice someone who hasn’t been there before. She was an older woman, overweight, and moved really, really slowly.
That first day, she trudged over to a treadmill and started walking. If I had to guess, she was probably only going about 1.5-2.0 mph. Well, for the first month, that’s all she did. I thought, “well, hey, kudos to her for at least doing something!” and then I mostly forgot about it. I’d sometimes see her do a couple bicep curls with light weights, but for the most part it was walking. Very, very slowly. In sandals.
Fast-forward several months….I was recently zoning out on the treadmill, watching the news while I ran. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw that same lady briskly walking on the treadmill. She was clipping along at a pretty good pace now (she had better shoes this time). Then, out of nowhere, she cranked the speed up and started running. She did it for about two minutes, then slowed back down, but the whole time she ran I had a huge grin on my face. I’ve never actually spoken to her, so I thought it’d be weird to start shouting, “YES! You go, girl! Get it!”
That’s how I felt, though. This woman just showed up one day and decided she had to start somewhere. It took her months, but by just showing up, day after day, she turned her health and fitness around. I was more inspired watching her than I have been in in a long time.
I guess the moral of that story is that it simply doesn’t happen overnight and, quite frankly, you should stop putting that expectation on yourself. With time and commitment, however, you CAN do anything you put your mind to. You just have to show up. Then show up again and again and again until one day, out of nowhere, you find yourself sprinting.
I’m linking up with Amanda today for TOL and sharing my random thoughts with you today. I have total faith that your shiny new year motivation will stick around long enough for you to see all your hopes and goals come true!
What’s your fitness goal for the new year?
What inspires you to get moving?