Editorial: The practice of practicing

Lisa Yates, Editor

As I interviewed Carey Long for the Fitness after 40 article, he invited me to participate in his Real Life Fitness program so I could experience it for myself and see how it worked. I decided to give it a try.

I got a copy of his book and scheduled a training session with him.

At the first session, I started with warm-up exercises: 10 squats, 10 “stick-ups,” 10 push-ups, 10 lunges and 10 lower-body rotations. Easy, I thought.

Imagine my surprise – I got winded during the warm-ups! Maybe it’s because other than packing and moving into a new apartment, I hadn’t exercised in several months. 

Even so, I thought I was in good shape for a 51-year-old. I’m about 5’-7” tall, weigh about 120 lbs. and I wear a size 6 jeans. I don’t look fat, but I’m not fit either. In his book, Long calls that “skinny fat” which means thin, but out of shape.

Silently, I vowed to take better care of myself. I want to stay healthy and active. I enjoy playing golf with my son. Plus, my daughter is expecting my first grandchild in November – a boy. 

It’s a good thing I made that vow, because I struggled to get to the gym that second day. 

I had deadlines to meet, I worked late without a lunch break, I was sore from the first day and I needed new tires. It started raining heavily and I was afraid of having a blowout on the Interstate. I thought of so many legitimate reasons not to go.

It would have been easy to stay home and skip the gym that day, but I didn’t. I made it to the gym.

Once there, I relaxed and started doing my warm-up exercises. Surprisingly, the exercises were much easier that second day. I decided I would tackle an extra class – a 15-minute core (abdominal) class. I didn’t have the stamina of the other folks, but I did my best and hung in there until the end. It was a small victory for this 51-year-old.

The third day was even better. I actually enjoyed my time in the gym and found I had more energy once I got home from work.

Sadly, the second week I got off track. One of my tires blew out, etc. Yeah, I know – that’s no excuse. I have to get back to the gym.

This time I’m shifting my focus. I’m going to practice practicing.

That is, I’m not concerning myself with outcomes. Instead, my goal is to focus on the process – getting myself to the gym so I can do the exercises. I know if I do that, I will reach my fitness goals.

Let’s get fit together. Follow me on Twitter @Lisa_editor and I’ll post updates on my fitness practice.