The Sunday prior to week four of Women & Weights was Daylight Saving Time. My routine felt off, and my motivation felt nonexistent. Coupled with the time change was something else I have grown accustomed to when starting a new exercise program: the lull. For me, the lull usually happens a few weeks in to something new – the excitement has worn off, the gains are not yet fully recognized, and the doubts sneak in.
This is the critical point in any new thing I attempt. If I give into the doubts, if I stop, then I atrophy, and I prove the doubts right. But if I keep pressing on, if I push through, then I have learned to expect lasting change. It’s not a linear, ever-increasing curve by any means – there are still setbacks – but it is movement in the right direction.
Even with these thoughts swirling in my mind, I skipped class on Tuesday. It happens to the best of us. The reason for missing a workout might be deliberate, like mine, or it might be unforeseen – your child is sick, you forgot your gym shoes, your grandkids surprise you with a visit. But skipping one class, whatever the reason, makes it so much easier to skip the next.
There’s a philosophy in the world of habit-building called the “never miss twice” rule. The idea is exactly as it sounds: when trying to build a habit, don’t neglect your desired habit twice in a row. For me, this meant making it to Thursday’s class was the most important thing I could do to keep my routine. It didn’t matter how hard I worked in class, it just mattered that I showed up. Every time I could check that box in my mind that said, “I showed up,” I took a step forward; if I couldn’t check the box, I took a step back.
Kris understands this philosophy is physical as much as mental. “Our bodies have two modes,” she says, “growth or stagnation.” She remembers her why when she wants to skip a class or stop a few reps early: to be strong and healthy, enjoy life, and take on new adventures. To reject stagnation and pursue growth.
“Women & Weights is helping me flip that switch back to growth,” Kris says. “It is not easy, but it is so worth it.”
So did I reject stagnation and pursue growth when Thursday came? Did I show up? Which box did I check?
I think my sore muscles – a good kind of sore, that ever-present reminder of who I am and who I am becoming – can answer that.
By: Natalie Weiss