THE WORLD’S GREATEST EXERCISE
By Caleb Anderson
“We cannot do everything at once, but we can do something at once.” —Calvin Coolidge
There’s an older gentleman named Joe who I know from the gym. At first glance, you wouldn’t think of him as an avid exerciser. He’s heavy. He wears stabilizing shoes. And his workout apparel is not the latest and greatest from Under Armour® or Lulu®.
And yet, there he is, at the gym; five days a week, like clockwork.
He’s only on the main floor with equipment for about 10 minutes. Then he does this walk-swim motion in the pool before sitting in the sauna. That’s his routine, and he’s faithful to it.
When asked about his 10-minute lifting sessions Joe said, “Well, I know it’s not much. But, to tell you the truth, I started at about 10 seconds. So I feel pretty good about where I am today.” He made himself laugh. “I really like doing pull-downs—the exercise on a cable where you pull the bar from overhead to your chest—I guess mainly because no part of my body hurts when I do it,” he added with another chuckle. ‘‘I just do a couple exercises that I like to do, and I figure I’ll add more the stronger I get.”
Joe has discovered the World’s Greatest Exercise. Do you know what it is? The World’s Greatest Exercise is . . . the one you’ll do!
A lot of people have great intentions for their workouts. They have lofty goals. Or they recall the physical stamina they once had in their youth and use that as their standard. I have a message for that person: Lower the bar!
Here’s the ironic thing: When you lower the bar that’s preventing you from taking action, you actually raise your standards. Right now, the higher bar—be it comparing yourself to others or to the college-aged version of you, etc.—is preventing you from having any real standard in the present. You might think you have high standards, but it’s very likely just a facade that’s keeping you from action.
By taking a small step immediately, like Joe is doing, you break the pattern of being defeated. Whether you’re experiencing a workout slump, a rut, apathy, or boredom, you can jump back in and spare yourself the guilt of not being where you think you ought to be. Where you think you should be is an illusion. You are where you are, and you can only start there.
Furthermore, reject comparisons. It’s counter-productive to compare yourself to others. The person who compares is the only person who cares. No one else cares. Those other people are just focused on themselves anyway. You have to focus on you. Only you can take your next step.
Lower the bar and raise your current standards.
Stop comparing and imagine your next step.
How could lowering an expectation lead you to make progress?
Write down an achievable goal. Get it done. Then write down the next goal…
If you want some encouragement in your Food + Fitness journey, The Exchange Course is launching THIS WEEK. You can only join the group through Sunday 2/7/2021, then we close the doors. Don’t miss this opportunity. You can do this. We have the system and support you need to make meaningful change—from the inside out. Sign up HERE