I learned a long time ago that consistency is the key to making improvements in physical fitness.
Back in the day, when I was just a youngster in my 30s and 40s, I worked out four days a week like clockwork -- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. Two hours in the gym, pumpin' iron with the boys. There was a dedicated group of four or five of us, and we were all in damn good shape.
I may have mentioned that at some point in my 50s, I gradually got away from going to the gym, one thing led to another, and after a while, I wound up not going at all anymore. Consequently, I found myself putting on the tonnage, getting fat and out of shape, feeling old and not very good about myself, or about life in general.
Part of that was due to depression, and part of it was due to stress from a career move that may or may not have been the best decision in the world. I kind of floundered around for a while, but eventually got things together again, and here I am, back on track and working out again, getting back in shape.
I still have a ways to go, to get where I want to be, but I've come a long way in the past 10 months. One thing I still need to improve on, though, is my consistency. I've been pretty consistent, but not like I was back when I never missed a workout.
It's really easy when you're tired, or busy, had a long day, don't feel up to snuff, to just say, "Aw, it won't hurt to miss one day." That little voice inside my head tells me that all the time. The trick is to not give in.
Today, for example, I had to go after work to the auto parts store to get my battery tested, after it seemed to bog down this morning when I went out to start my pickup after an especially cold night. The forecast called for even colder temperatures tonight, and I'd had the feeling for a while now that the battery might not have quite as much punch in it as it used to.
Sure enough, it needed to be replaced, and so I took care of that, and didn't get home until an hour later than I would have otherwise.
It was 30 degrees outside -- bitter cold for central Texas -- and getting colder as the sun went down. I got home around 5 o'clock, and that meant I'd be at the gym until at least 6, maybe 6:15. Usually, I'm through with an afternoon workout by 5-5:15, and I nearly talked myself out of going.
But I went anyway.
Had a good workout at the gym, then came home, put on my 5-pound ankle weights, dragged my low-bar set-up out into the driveway and did six reps of my hanging reverse crunches, or whatever they're called. You grab onto the bars, flip yourself upside down in a ball, knees tucked tight into your chest, and lower your hips down toward the ground until gravity takes over.
It's an exercise to strengthen the midsection for pole vaulting, and I wasn't going to do it, either. Too late; too cold; too this; too that. But I did it, anyway.
Consistency is the key.
You can do it.