The Long Road Ahead

I’m sure we have all read multitudes of news articles touting the latest and best trend in the business of Fitness. A new diet, a new detox, a new workout regimen – it seems like the only field where there are ‘new’ discoveries to be made every day. They all promise to be the ones providing revolutionary, guaranteed results that changes our lives (magically) for the better. It seems like the only happening thing in town, judging by the number of times it comes up on our phone notifications or social media posts and even in casual conversation between acquaintances. The whole world is seemingly obsessed about achieving the optimum level of ‘Fabulous’ in fitness – of both body and mind.

This has come into sharper focus since the pandemic hit. People realized how much of their health they sacrificed in the endless pursuit of professional milestones. This spawned the era of home workout videos, fitness challenges and public pledges to better invest in one’s own ‘self’. Many people added physical goals to their bucket list while others chose to prioritize their mental peace. I was also one among the many fish swept along with this tsunami of self-love. But somehow it never seemed to stick. I had many goals ranging from actually reasonable to borderline fantastical, but I never could follow through on any of them.

It wasn’t until I came home for good after graduation and actually pondered about where I am going wrong and why I am stuck in this rut that it hit me. Despite reading many articles, listening to many sermons, speaking to inspirational people who have achieved their goals and even finding teachers in wildlife, I seemed to be missing something. I tried all the fads, the workouts and detox drinks but nothing helped me reach my goal of finally losing weight and getting fit. I donated a fair number of pennies in my desperate attempt at a magical cure too! It was after many such mistakes that I realized that the answer lies away from the temptation of Instant Gratification.

The solution was and always in front of our faces, yet we see through it in the hopes of a different answer or because we just didn’t realize that it could be so simple. True Fitness, quite simply, lies in Consistency. It does not matter what you do, you will get results if you do it consistently. The results may vary based on the methods used, but the magic ingredient is the same – Consistency. Be it in education, profession, fitness or relationships, consistency makes all the difference because it showcases the true depth of your commitment to that endeavor. It is immaterial whether you spend 30 minutes in the gym or 2.5 hours in the park; go on a weekly or monthly date with your partner; read one page or one book a day. You will see results only if you put in the same effort with the same passion as the first day, in other words, if you are consistent. This ingredient is what reveals your commitment to yourself and others because it shows you if that goal is a passing fad or a lifelong promise.

I fully comprehended this after many mistakes I made along the way but I am proud to admit that I can see a difference this time. Maybe not yet physically, but mentally I have reached a point where I stopped making and accepting excuses to evade going to the gym. I stopped waiting for the perfect gym partner, the perfect ambience, the perfect music and the hope of divine intervention and instead respected my goals enough to give them the respect they really deserve because we all need to make a conscious choice between our goals and any excuses. There is a sort of mental peace to be found when your reach this stage. You just need to stick around long enough to find it.

From desire, comes an idea. That idea spawns a plan. The plan inspires an intent and it is our job to cross the threshold between intent and action and from action progress into consistent action. The point I am trying to make is, if you really want to make a change in your life and get fit, make it your life. After all, it is easier to follow a routine than a fad.

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