Mary Eggers


Starting over

“I am embarrassed to tell you that I fell of the fitness wagon again” the text read.

This was a text from a friend who claims he has begun his fitness routine at least 17 times over the past year. Nonsense. There isn’t starting over. Those 17 times were 17 times he chose to move over the past year (and there were many more).

I don’t believe in a fitness wagon, and when people tell me they keep starting over, I applaud them.

We start over every single day in our lives. There isn’t some magical wagon that carries us through and keeps us on some mythical fitness, education, nutrition, career path and when we finally get on this amazing wagon, everything is smooth sailing. Life is all about rolling with the pop ups.

You know the game whack a mole? That’s life. That’s real life in my opinion.

I see athletes decline to sign up for races or wait until they are “ready”, or sign up and never show up because they don’t match some preconceived idea of what ready means. Get out there. It’s not always easy to toe that line, but toe it. I have raced plenty of races I wasn’t ready for and some of those races were the best ones in my life (and by best I don’t always mean fastest).

This notion of ready, I think it holds us back. I am not saying go race an Ironman you haven’t trained for, I am saying go be part of the game. Some game. Because it feels amazing to be out there and to celebrate life and hell, haven’t we done enough sitting around and moping these days?

Put yourself in the mix of people who are like minded. Who celebrate life the way you do. Maybe that’s a triathlon (maybe it’s a book club, who cares what it is). Get out there.

I told my friend that “starting his fitness journey over” 17 times in one year shows he has persistence. I challenged him to not be embarrassed by that, but for one day act proud of that. God’s honest truth, by the end of three days of that mindset he realized he was viewing this whole thing will wrong.

There is no magic state of ready. We are life ready and I promise you that’s enough.

Magical things happen when you cross finish lines. Be glad you aren’t the one who balances their self worth on their time or placing, it’s a terrible place to live.

It’s not really the finish line that will bring you that feeling of accomplishment, it’s the journey towards it. The days you nailed the sessions, the days you didn’t nail them. The days you got them in despite those moles popping up, and the days you missed everything entirely because well, life blew up and your teenager needed to talk about prom. The line, that just represents one moment on one day.

It always feels good though.

I told my friend, start over 39 times this year if you have to. Erase the notion that this is a wagon at all. Every day ask yourself “Did I move today” and if the answer is no, walk around the block. If you have time for ten minutes on Facebook, you have time to take a ten minute walk (the walk is much better than an online debate anyways).

As your friend I will cheer you on for every time you start over. I don’t give a rat about stopping and starting. All miles are good miles. All movement is good movement. All progress is great progress.

Life is to be lived forward…. not backward.