Someone once told me, “Peter, don’t let the perfect be the enemy to the good.” I’ve applied that idea to many areas of my life, but it wasn’t until my older sister had a heart attack at age 47, that I woke up and decided to stop letting the pursuit of fitness perfection be the enemy of the pursuit of fitness.
Last week, I talked about motivation and motives, stimuli that initiate our behavior and sustain our behavior. These stimuli, in effect, push us toward something. The other part of the motive is that it is goal-directed. In effect, the goal pulls us toward it. Seems straightforward enough, but if we strive for the ideal – the perfect body, the perfect weight, the perfect waistline, the perfect dress size, the perfect bicep – we have set an unachievable goal, and we will never feel satisfied, i.e., our “drive” will remain unmet.
At 43, I admitted that, after 15 years or so of “working out,” I was never going to look like a male model, or have “Arnold” sized biceps, and I certainly didn’t look like I was still in my late twenties. These were my goals! Risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, which run in my family, were not a concern. Having been an overweight teenager, weight was a HUGE concern, but no amount of weight loss seemed to matter. So, I started looking at the pursuit of fitness as the pursuit of health. I started paying trainers to help me work out effectively. Many people asked me why I would spend money on trainers, and I always replied, “This is part of my retirement plan.” My trainers, or subject matter experts, taught me how to set appropriate goals, and they kept me on track. Ironically, I am, today, in the best shape of my life. Do I still want the ideal body? Yes. Do I think I will have it? No, but I do know that I am doing all that I can to take care of my body – the only body I will ever have. Until next time, fellow fitness fanatics, I leave you with this, “Are you letting the perfect be the enemy of the good?”
By Peter “Herc” Wooldridge – an Empower great 🙂