Getting Fitter

Getting people from fat to fit isn’t even a cottage industry anymore. I’d speculate that it’s a multi-billion-dollar industry that ranges from short workouts of the day, like the ones you’ll find at Darebee.com, to hour-long video workouts like P90X. I just opened the app store  on my phone to discover pages upon pages of reasonably highly rated free fitness apps: Couch-to-5K apps, shortcuts to size, triathlon training, diet logs, and so on, and so forth. You don’t have to look very far to spend hundreds of dollars on fitness stuff faster than you can say “Take my money, you chiseled Adonis!”

Of course, we here at Stationary Waves have long since been of the opinion that, in order to get truly fit, one has to stop beginning and start becoming an intermediate fitness enthusiast. This will help you resist the urge to start over again and again, always from the novice level. This will help you progress to a point where you add a little more to your daily routine – because, after all, your routine is now a daily one. It’s part of your life. You made it! Fitness is a regular part of your life now. You’re no longer one of those people who need to get off the couch.

What you’ll discover at that point is that you’re working out daily, and you still don’t look and feel like Duane Johnson or Gillian Michaels, you still don’t run a sub-3-hour marathon, you still can’t do very many unassisted pull-ups, and the thought of posting “workout videos” on YouTube frightens you. In short, even after you’ve been working out for a long time, you still won’t feel like an expert or a pro. You’ll still feel like a beginner.

I’ve been training hard as a distance runner since my age could be expressed in single-digits – yes, really – and even I still don’t feel like an expert. The truth is, no level of fitness ever feels like enough. There’s always some additional challenge or barrier that you can’t quite achieve, that makes you feel like a complete rookie. So we try harder.

Speaking personally, I work out during my lunch hour at work. Optimistically, you could say I have 60 minutes with which to get a great workout in – and for the last several months or years I’ve been doing just that. But lately I’ve noticed something: in order to get fitter than I am today, I need more than 60 minutes.

Now, this makes perfect sense. After you’ve conditioned yourself to an hour a day, the only way to get a better workout is to either go harder for the full hour, or stack on more time. Frankly, I’m not sure I could go much harder for my daily hour. I want to be fitter – I need another hour.

And so I continue to flirt with my on-again, off-again relationship to twice-daily workouts. I know I need them, but they’re hard. They’re hard to do, physically, and they’re hard for a diabetic like me to figure out. They’re hard to keep up in light of all my other responsibilities in life. They’re just hard. I try it, I fail, and I give up.

But, darn it, I keep trying. Maybe this time’s my chance.