Eliminating the Rust in my Habits

9895cbf9481f23604348b15142a0da69I was at the gym early this morning, as was once my habit. My schedule changed for awhile, and arriving at the gym between 6 and 7:30 a.m. became my new normal for weekday practices. Then life and work and schedule changed again in 2018, and I am working my way back toward the early (think 5 a.m.) exerciser program.

This is most definitely one of those habits I should not have let lapse. I think my alarm is going to have to be set for 3:45 for awhile, until I can be trusted to drag my  sorry ass out of bed when the alarm goes off at 4.

Because I now have a commitment to be somewhere by 8 a.m. on non-training weekdays, I do need to be in the gym by 5:15 to ensure I get my full quota of exercise time and still make it home to shower, dress, and get out the door to attend to my work responsibilities. It has been an very difficult transition back to my old normal schedule.

And I can tell the transition (as well as the stressful life experience) has taken a toll on my better health quest. Where I once would exercise at some level 6 to 7 days per week, the stress of 2018’s events have me routinely going to the gym on a 4 or 5 days per week schedule the last few months and my effort is not always very enthusiastic or hearty.

I decided yesterday that must change and it must start this week.

Training with the fab trainer J on Memorial day, I felt so out of touch and starting over again with some of the simplest, most foundational exercises in my stable of Lists. As I remarked to him, I feel rusty and as if I have forgotten so much. His very diplomatic and kind (scary smart, that one) reply was that I have also learned a lot and that is has been a rough few months. Both are true and accurate statements, but there is an echo of easy excuse and reasoning to fall back into less desirable habits. I can and will climb out of the shallow hole I have dug for myself and wallowed in the last several months.

But change and improvement and recovering ceded exercise knowledge and skills does not happen with wishful thinking. For me, it’s a matter of working at it, a lot, and repetitively executing and perfecting form until the basic mostly correct shapes return to being reflexive habits again. The best and worst part of improving, learning new techniques and new exercises, moving weightier weights to and fro is my excitement and interest in the new stuff is less attention to and practice of the stuff I know, that got me to the next level.

A dear friend refers to her struggles as climbing a ladder, rung by rung. Totally stealing that for refreshing my better health quest commitment and exercise habits.

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