In the following article, RAWBITE co-founder Nikolaj addresses the topic of being, or getting fit(ter), and why it is a process, not a destination. In a philosophical way he elaborates on why ambition kills motivation, and why your base program is so important for a constant improvement in terms of becoming fitter.
Let’s face it…
You will never become fit.
If this is true, why even bother? Why the effort? These are legitimate questions. Because, the fact is, there are no guarantees that your efforts will give you the results you are looking for, even with so-called proven methods.
You will never become fit, because being fit is not a destination. It is not some finish line that you will cross some day, get your prize, and then it is finished.
You have probably thought that, if you just can get as fit as somehow you consider fit, then you will be done. But take a look at those you consider fit and aspire to. Does it look like their behaviour reflects something like “I got fit, that’s it! Job accomplished”?
Being fit is a process, not a goal. So, you will never become fit… But you can become fitter.
A process is dynamic. Something is always happening and changing, even when it looks like nothing is. A process typically goes through different phases, like nature that goes through different seasons. And since you are as much nature as the next tree, chances are that the body at some level also follows the seasons.
You have probably noticed that the pattern of the season is circular: from winter to spring, to summer, to fall and winter again. However it is never exactly the same winter, or the same spring, summer or fall. So it is more a spiral-like process, or may be a spherical one, since a sphere contains an infinite number of circles.
Each season has its own theme. During spring, nature builds up to summer, and then tears down during fall into winter. Summer is the expression of what is build up during spring, and winter is what remains after what has been ripped off during fall!
Now, to quote something famous, winter is coming. This season is a time where nature goes to retreat. This does not mean that nothing is happening. On the contrary, there is still a lot happening, but energy moves inward and things happen below the surface. It is a standby phase, not stand still.
This is probably not the time to engage in a completely new exercise program or intensify the current one. It is time to focus on your base program.
And what is a base program? It is the exercise program that you consistently can do week after week, no matter the circumstances. It is the program that, unless sickness or real tragic conditions, you will stick too, even in “bad weather”, under stressing period or out travelling for longer time.
In establishing your base program, you must be brutally honest with what you can stick to. People tend to overestimate what they can manage. Don’t be ambitious, because ambition will kill motivation in the long run. Cut your base program to the level, where it feels so easy to stick to that you almost hear yourself saying: “Dude, is that even enough?”
The point is, it is better to be able to add on, than having to take off. You can only build something solid on a strong fundament, and a strong fundament is forged out of consistency. So if you choose your base right, it will turn into a solid fundament upon which you can add-on. Otherwise circumstances will automatically take off what is not properly integrated. A tree will not grow taller unless it has established deeper roots first. So go to the root and find a program that you want to do, and can manage to do consistently. It is most likely better to do a small program well, than a big one poorly.
Every base program is as different as people are. So please don’t copy another ones base program – make your own. You can let yourself be inspired by another ones base program, but customize it to yourself. Like Picasso is believed to have said: “Good artists copy, great artists steal”.
If you can establish a base program that you can stick to during winter, the following will happen. First you will feel satisfaction over your consistency. Your base program will be second nature, which means that it will not leave you easily, even under challenging circumstances. When the following seasons sets in, with more daylight and more gentle weather, it will come naturally to add-on to you base program, which in turn will also make it easier to stick too. This will strengthen your consistency muscle. When the next winter comes, and you naturally cut down on the program, it will as a minimum not be cut down below the original base program, and there is a very good probability, that your base program actually will have evolved to a higher level. And so, the cycle repeats, but without staying the same.
This is a long-term process. Be willing to evolve slowly, to go for the long run. Things that last, take time to build. Of course you can find programs that can give you big result in short time. Like the casino, you can make big gains fast. But in the long run, the casino always wins.
So don’t shoot for the stars, cause you living on planet earth. Focus on what you can stick to consistently and let the process evolve by itself.
Unless you love the circle of frustrations, don’t try to get fit. Fit happens.
By Nikolaj Lehman, RAWBITE co-founder