Nature has this tendency, one shared by the majority of humans, which is to always take the path of least resistance. Take a look at water; it will usually always flow to the lowest point until stopped by a barrier, since gravity does all the work FOR the water. In this respect, one could easily say that water will always follow the path of least resistance. Humans are typically hard-wired to make their way through the day in very much the same way and it can often be difficult to circumvent that path.
Picture this scenario: you have the day off. The sun is shining, you have no errands to run and no work that requires you or attention. What do you feel would be the easiest alternative for you? Sitting on the couch with your favourite snack and binge-watch a favourite show? Or jump on the bicycle and see how much mileage you can rack up in two hours? I can tell you what the smart answer would be, depending on where you’re at and what you’re trying to accomplish. But I think we all know what would be easier and feel better.
Obviously, it would be easier to enjoy the day by flopping down on the couch and doing nothing. THAT’s the path of least resistance. And honestly, there may be days when that’s actually the better option for you. Especially if you had a brutal week and need a chance to recharge and replenish your mental batteries. That being said, there’s an insidious effect that takes place if you always follow the path of least resistance…
It’s true what they say that nothing in life is free. There’s a cost to everything, even when we don’t recognize what that cost might be. For someone with Type-1 Diabetes, fitness and self-care are critically important. I’ve spent most of my life committing myself to fitness, martial arts and bettering myself. It’s never an easy battle and there are always obstacles in the way. But I recognize that life doesn’t care about my plan, and won’t do anything to help me on my journey.
The insidious effect I refer to, in regards to taking the path of least resistance, is that when you start “taking it easy” or skipping a workout, you begin setting yourself up for that trend. Again, I’m not referring to the times when you just flat out need a break. I’m referring to the trend where maybe you meant o take a break and then all of a sudden it’s been awhile couple of weeks without exercise and you’ve gotten all lazy and lethargic and maybe gained five pounds from all the salt ‘n pepper wings you’ve been eating…. I swear, I’m not speaking from experience. Moving on…
The point is, and what sets humans apart from most aspects of nature is that we have the awareness to recognize when we’re slipping or letting go. Making a difference in your own life takes effort. But that effort will never happen on its own. I find myself at an age where getting out of bed in the morning is an effort. Remember how I’ve written about the way you start your day sets you up for the remainder? If not, go back and read my posts, damn it! But seriously, most mornings my body is fighting hard to convince my mind that it wold be much easier and simpler to just lay my head back on the pillow and forget about getting up. It would be easier. That doesn’t make it better.
As you move through life, many if not most things will get in your way. Health, work, familial obligations, social obligations and one’s own excuses will often slow or hinder progress, as it relates to one’s commitment to fitness and health. If I look nasty myself as an example, I’ve had ample excuses to stop training. When the pandemic hit, my karate dojo closed. Okay, I no longer have a practical place to train. I set myself up with a training space in my basement. Then my basement flooded and I had to have the basement demolished.
I moved my training space to the garage. It was actually a pretty sweet set-up, too. But i had to move everything that was located in the basement to the garage, so I lost that space as well. I promised myself the purchase of some free weights and light equipment, but opted to wait until the basement was fully renovated. And on, and on, and on…. There will never be a lack of excuses available, if one chooses to find them.
I find that as life moves forward, the excuses become more prominent and convincing and it becomes harder to commit oneself to a consistency. But as age begins to climb, it becomes all the more important to not only continues, but to push harder in order to help maintain that fitness and physical health (and mental health) into the years to come. After all, Diabetes won’t take a break. Why should I? And that’s what’s important to remember. Stop for too long and the opportunity to o better yourself may pass you by.
The human body is like a dynamo. It’s always getting it going that’s the hardest part. But once you get your momentum, continuing is much easier than stopping and starting up again. So give yourself the effort. You need it. You deserve it. You’re worth it. Good health & fitness is a never ending battle. Just be sure that as you work through it, you guarantee that you’ll come out the clear winner. ☯️