THE TORTOISE AND THE HARE
Our members have just embarked on a little step challenge / competition. STEPtember, the competitor with the most steps taken over the entire month wins a pair of Nike’s! The goal isn’t to finish up with ripped abs or incredi-calves, the goal is to start building a new, positive, lifelong habit. The goal is to instil a slightly more active lifestyle. Not a drastic one. Not one where you need to finish up each day dunking in an ice bath, to then be lifted into your bed because of your busted legs. No, a very simple change. A lifestyle where you are just a little bit more active then you used to be. As a result of this new lifestyle you should end up a little bit leaner and a little bit healthier.
We modern day humans are a sedentary bunch, well, far more sedentary than any generation before us. Thus, we are also the fattest lot of humans to ever exist too. We aren’t fat due to a lack of skinny shakes and magic fat burner pills either. No, we have atrocities like them in abundance. We are fat because of two major things, 1. We don’t move enough and 2. Food is more easily accessible than ever before.
We often think that because of this problem, in order to fix it, we need to eat as little as possible and move as hard and as fast as possible and Bam! Not fat anymore. Which yeh, in theory it would work. But no, no one can sustain it, so it doesn’t work.
What I love about this month-long step challenge is that it will reward the consistent stepper. Not just the winner of the Nike shoes. But every single stepper that sets a daily target and manages to hit it every single day. That challenge target may not be the number they continue to hold beyond the competition, but I can guarantee that they will certainly hold a new average that is significantly higher than what it was prior to the challenge. And it will stick. But the key is the consistency. This is the Tortoise method.
There is another approach to this challenge, the Hare method. We all know this. Go hard, have a break, let everyone catch back up, go hard again. This method will work for a while, but eventually they will break down, as going hard is far more taxing on the body and the mind than moving consistently. Especially if you find yourself napping a little too long, causing you to fall behind. Playing the catch-up game at high intensity is how we end up broken, leaving the challenge in a worse position than where we began.
Do these approaches sound familiar?
Doesn’t this sound eerily similar to crash dieting and smash fitnessing?
‘Oh shit I am bigger than I have ever been! Quick! What is the fastest way to lose weight!? What is the quickest method to regain my fitness back to where it was before?!’
We have all heard the fable of the Tortoise and the Hare a hundred times over. But do we actually listen? Or are we all too busy being Hare’s to do so? Arrogantly thinking that we can both go hard and do it all, but also still win like a Tortoise.
Well… you can’t.
If COVID has taught us anything, it surely is to slow the f’k down, and by doing so you can actually enjoy whatever it is you are doing. And that you can also achieve a great deal without having to cram a million things in, while going at a million miles an hour, all the bloody time.
The tortoise always wins. With your diet, with work, when trying to homeschool your kids, when attempting to win a step challenge.
Be the tortoise.