You can still make a wrong turn, when all the signs are pointing the other way!
Last night, I told a group of new runners that the thing that ended up being my prime motivation was a bulging waist-line. It’s true, to a degree. There were a hundred little things going on at the time that pushed the issue to the foreground; I began experiencing gout for the first time in my life, my mother had breast cancer and beat it, my cousin had cancer and beat it, it had always been one of those little things I told myself I would do.. someday, I just wasn’t happy, and all of my activities were geared around either pleasure and comfort or escape from anything challenging, stressful or difficult. But maybe the waist-line was the final straw – I’m not sure.
But I could have kept kicking even that can down the road. I could have made the wrong turn, for all that!
When you have some motivating thought to do something good for yourself, or a warning in your life to stop what you’re doing immediately, there’s still no guarantee you still won’t choose to go one way, when everything in your life is telling you to go the other way. We’ve all seen it – Diabetics who begin suffering from degenerative circulation in their feet, so much so that they have to get toes amputated, or the whole foot – and they still persist with the same diet that is literally destroying them. Drug addicts and alcoholics who continue to double-down on a new high, or the next high, while their lives go down the tubes; each new drug and each new drink a cross-roads; an explicit choice made.
For a lot of reasons, I don’t think everyone is equipped mentally, or perhaps emotionally, to even make good choices and ‘right’ decisions. I know I’m not – not always – but I’m working on it.
I think it’s the same with fitness. We get warnings and we get motivations to be healthier, make better life-style choices, take better care of ourselves, quit eating sugar, quit smoking or drinking – and suddenly, we’re at a cross-roads and there will be a decision, one way or the other.
And as you think about this, you might start to become more aware of all the little choices we make and the compounding effect they have on our lives. Each little ‘cheat’, each little skipped workout – the seductive destruction of our best laid plans, bit by bit, as we keep making those tiny turns on those tiny cross-roads throughout the day; going the wrong way.