Progress is Slow, but Progress is Progress

Every once in a while, you get to have some clarifying moments. I got to have a couple of those this week.

The first happened when I went swimming.

You see, the thing is, I don’t swim very often. As a kid, my summers were spent half in the water at pools and lakes. As I got older, not so much. Two years ago was the last time I swam. And it gassed me. I could barely swim much at all before I had to call it. My whole body was unappreciative of the endeavor.

But you need to know something about two years ago. I was 20 pounds heavier, the heaviest I’ve ever been. I wasn’t running because of the carry-over from an injury, and I just wasn’t in good shape.

Flash-forward two years, and now I’m back to my comfortable weight, and I’ve been consistently exercising for more than a year and a half. This dip in the pool went much better. I was able to put in a good amount of time, albeit relatively calm swimming, but a good amount of time nonetheless. My whole body got a workout, and I didn’t take the brunt that putting feet to pavement does. Not a bad day, but we’re not done.

The second happened when I ran on a torturemill in a hotel gym.

There’s not a lot spectacular about my running. It happens because it has to, and we don’t dwell on it. I took running gear with me on a work trip so that I could get a quick run in, knowing it would be on a treadmill, but that’s ok. Sometimes you can’t get what you want. But Mick Jagger told me you get what you need.

I plugged in a 10-minute pace, and set off to run two miles. As I got closer to two miles and was pushing as much as I could to do it without walking, I was disappointed. And that’s fantastic. Two miles nonstop use to be momentous for me. I’m not running any marathons any time soon, but now I’m disappointed I can only run as far as my extreme goal used to be.

And that’s progress. Progress takes a while. I put in a lot of crappy runs, some good runs, and a couple of rainy runs to get here. I’ve dripped sweat over a yoga mat an obscene amount of times. And I didn’t eat anywhere near the amount of food I wanted. All so I could swim and run a little farther. And not die of heart disease at 40. That’s a good secondary goal.

I don’t know what you were hoping to get from this blog overall. I’m not entirely sure what my goal was at the beginning or what it is in the long run, but I hope you see what progress looks like. I hope you read this and try to make one or two good decisions today in the hope that it becomes two or three good decisions tomorrow. And who knows? Maybe some day I’ll make five good decisions in a day. And that’ll be a good day.


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