Tracy’s winning formula: consistency and forgiveness

Image description: three panels showing Tracy, wearing knee length shorts, running shoes, and a tank top, in three different stages of squat shoulder press with barbell.–squat, halfway up, all the way up with left arm pressing up overhead with the barbell. Dumbell rack, mirrors, and window in background.

Anyone who follows the blog knows that I’m not exactly an elite athlete. I feel pleased when I make it out of the bottom half of any event I enter, and that doesn’t happen a whole heck of a lot. So when I talk about “winning formulas,” I don’t actually mean formulas for winning. Instead, I’m talking about my formula for keeping at it with a reasonably good attitude.

Sam and I like to joke sometimes about how boring our message is. Have goal. Chip away at it. Better still if it’s a thing you like. We all posted yesterday about our favourite activities. I love that we all have favourite activities.

So what’s my winning formula? Consistency and forgiveness. I have some regular stuff I do, and I do it reasonably consistently. I run about 3 times a week. I weight train with my personal trainer twice a week. You’ll find me in the hot yoga studio once a week on Saturday morning. And in between I’ll walk to work or do some yoga at home or switch it up if I’m traveling by doing something more fitting to the local setting (like swimming or kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding or hiking).

But I sometimes don’t get in all the things that I normally like to do. Like this weekend when I went to the lake and it was absolutely freezing, there was no way a long run was happening on Sunday. No. Way. Yes, I went for a brisk and chilly walk with friends on Saturday. But I spent most of Sunday driving and eating BBQ potato chips.

This is where forgiveness comes into the picture. Because routine and consistency are all well and good. But they’re not 100% all the time. Monday came along and I had a lot on my figurative plate. But I can live with that because, whereas in the past I had more of an all or nothing attitude, today I know I can get back at it as soon as possible without a great deal of consequence. I’m not sure I’m going to get back at it today because I am teaching this morning and then Sam and I are giving a talk this afternoon (on why fitness is a feminist issue).

That’s okay. Because that’s life and oh well. I know I’ll get back on track on Wednesday, when I can fit in a tempo run and some weight training. Yes, I’m a little bit panicked about “falling behind” in my Around the Bay training. But as my coach Linda said to me this afternoon, I will be able to complete that 30K. It’s just a matter of how I will complete it. The more I stick with my training plan the better I will perform. But either way I will show up for the day, do my best, enjoy the moment, and show the results of the training I did.

Consistency keeps me moving forward. Forgiveness gets me back on track when I’ve fallen out of routine. They work as a kind of tag-team, forming the core of my “motivational strategy.” I use these values in workouts and in life more generally. Boring? Maybe. Effective? You bet!

How consistent are you? How forgiving are you?

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