“Just as your car runs more smoothly and requires less energy to go faster and farther when the wheels are in perfect alignment, you perform better when your thoughts, feelings, emotions, goals, and values are in balance.” ~ Brian Tracy
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make when they begin to exercise again is they try to do too much too fast! In their excitement to 'get after it', they end up over exerting themselves or trying to accomplish more than what their body's are able to give at that moment. Not only can this lead to injury but this can also be very dangerous. Euripides said, “The best and safest thing is to keep a balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around us and in us. If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.”
In our zeal, we seem to forget we are not where we once were, nor are we as young as we use to be. There is something about the human condition that causes us to not be honest with ourselves. I am not sure if we just don't think we have aged or if we just believe we will forever be 'young'. So we make up our minds to exercise and think all things are as they used to be. This 'knee jerk' move back into exercise is a common issue I have witnessed over the years. Our minds are still seemingly functioning as an eighteen year old, but our bodies have lagged a little behind (no pun intended here)! The challenges of life have kept our minds mentally exercised, but in the meantime we have slacked bodily. Therefore, when we finally decide to 'move', we still think we have the body of an youthful teenager and we begin to match our bodies to our mental enthusiasm. Obviously, when this happens, I have witnessed a common cycle amongst all who endeavor to match the body to the mental...its called 'Crash and Burn'.
Part of the problem is definitely a 'nature of man' issue. All of us are engineered to look for the 'easy way out'. Most of us want and look for what I call the 'magic pill solution'. Its part of our human makeup and its also a part of this instant gratification culture we live in. After twenty years of doing nothing, we want immediate results. After years of inactivity we burst back onto the scene with this idea that we are going to blast our way back to those 'buns of steel' and a six pack of abs!!! We jump on the treadmill with an excited tenacity to finally get 'back in shape. Mentally and physically, we feel good. We have finally conquered this demon of laziness. In our newly awakened zeal, we push too hard, do too much, and over do it! Then comes the inevitable completion of the 'crash and burn' cycle. Though we feel good after getting off the treadmill, we wake up the next morning, feeling, well, to put it lightly...rough. Our muscles are sore. Our bodily pains seem to send very clear signals to our once excited mind and the signals are not nice. The inner voices rise up and the body begins to preach a message entitled, "What Was I Thinking?". Then to top it off, you are already scheduled your next exercise routine to do it all over again! Now spiraling out of control, its far easier to fall back into your old excuses and habits.
One of the most difficult things for people to do is to find a right balance. Its seems like being extreme is the fashion of today. Its an all or nothing attitude, but if the real truth be known, the victory lies in your patience. You have to balance reason with passion; reason keeps you open, passion keeps your adrenaline going. So today, I implore you to start SLOW! The goal is to build a strong base and a strong base can be your spring board into a new you! Don't let the moment get away from you and allow your zeal to be misused. Think LONG TERM! Think slow, not fast! Remember, it took you a long time to get into the condition you are in right now, and it will take some time to get the results you desire to see. Be sure to keep your program fun and you will not have to enter the cycle of crash and burn.