Developing Perseverance, One Rep At A Time
When you think of a gym nut like me, life skills are the last thing that come to mind. That couldn’t be further from the truth in my opinion.
The single biggest lesson I’ve learned by going to the gym is just that: what it means show up. This idea isn’t new, especially in the world of self-improvement books like Atomic Habits by James Clear. Having consistency is crucial for developing any habit, even personal fitness.
I still remember something I saw a while back online, that the best workouts often start of the worst. That isn’t always true, but it hints at the fact that emotions can quickly change and aren’t always accurate. I might feel sluggish and exhausted before, but minutes later I’ll be completely in the moment and enjoying every second. Just by forming a habit of simply showing up can lead to unexpected outcomes.
From this I’ve been able to rethink my school life, how I approach studying and why I procrastinate. Just by setting aside 30 minutes a day to work on something and actually sticking to such a schedule really builds over time, and without fitness to help me realize that I don’t know where I would be right now.
However, this attitude of just being present can lead some to treat fitness as a chore. I’m guilty of this, especially when I’m dying to finish and relax after school. Yet I also realize how damaging this can be in the long term. If you only view a run as passing the finish line, you lose out on every moment in between.
It can be hard to find joy in the process, but is nonetheless still there. I sometimes stop and recognize what I’ve done and take pride in the progress I’ve made. At the end of the day, those moments are just as gratifying, if not more so.
What I’ve gained from such reflection has helped in reframing other aspects of my life. School, for instance, can just as easily be seen as a marathon. You can shoot for the end, ignore the events and friendships and clubs, all while graduating and getting into a good college. Or you can stop every once in a while and take in the moment, because it just might be the last time you experience something like it.