At the beginning of this year, I made a decision to get fitter. Not because I needed any drastic change, but because it was the right thing to do.

Needless to say, while I’m certainly not where I used to be, I am not where I want to be. But along the way, I’ve learnt a few things about my fitness regime that are actually totally applicable to everyday life situations.

So let’s go through them:

One day at a time

Literally! I’m not sure if you have seen the meme about the guy who goes to the gym once and then immediately checks if he has abs yet. It’s brilliant!

While it’s funny, most of us treat life and many situations like that.

I’ve learnt, that if I go for 10km run or a hectic gym session, I am not going to walk out of there like Usain Bolt or Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I am definitely enjoying the benefit of spending a bit more time running or working out in the gym now, than I wasn’t experiencing in the beginning of the year. But that took time.
And anything worth having will take some time. Whatever sphere of life it may be – the process will inform the result. Keep at it.

Showing up is winning half the battle

There are days, I am sure we all have them, that we don’t always feel like we ‘owned it’. Days when you hit the road and don’t feel on top of it, when you feel sluggish and uninspired.

In those moments, while I don’t enjoy it, the key is to finish. While you may not break a ‘Personal Best’, or exceed old milestones,  the important thing is that you showed up, and finished!

World records and personal bests will not be broken every day, after every run or gym session – otherwise we would all be world champions.

But the important thing is that on days when you’re out of it, show up and do something! Because at the end of it, you’re closer to your goal than you were before you started.

The same can be said if you’re studying, working or going though general mundane tasks – show up, and you’re already half way there.

Your equipment is as important as the work you’re doing

I cannot overemphasize this. I used to hear runners talk about what kind of shoes they were using and think “these guys have nothing better to talk about, it’s just a pair of shoes”.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

After clocking over 600kms on my old running shoes, I started to experience niggles and aches more often than not.

Not only did I exacerbate the problem by ignoring, I was off the road for longer than I wanted to be.

Thankfully I have recovered from the injury, but it was simply unwise.

The reality is, in whatever you do, how you go about it, and the equipment used to reach that goal are as essential as the task itself.

The old adage that you would rather spend three hours sharpening your axe to chop for one hour instead of sharpening for one hour and chopping for three, actually makes sense. You will find at the end of doing the task, it was less painful than it would have been had you not taken time to ready your tools.

I found the right shoes for me, after a foot scan and some research. And now, the experience is more pleasant.

While these are just a few gems I’ve learnt on the journey, I am sure there will be many more on the journey. After all, it is a marathon and not a sprint.