Consistency is key in setting fitness goals

I saw a lot of unreasonable people in Red Deer on May 18th, and it was awesome!

I saw a guy losing his mind and swearing like a trucker in a Tim Horton’s drive through because the person ahead of him was taking ‘too long’ too order, but I’m not talking about that kind of unreasonable.

I am talking about people setting a ridiculous goal, and then spending all morning in the pouring rain to accomplish it. I am talking about hundreds of people volunteering to stand around in that cold, pouring rain to support those unreasonable people.

I am talking about Woody’s Marathon. If you aren’t a runner, please don’t tune out – because there is something in here for you too! Whether you have ever run or not, it is always so inspiring to see people from all walks of life giving their all to cross that line.

Competition really can bring out the best in people, and is why we so often hold challenges and things at our gym – to stir that spirit in people to be better, try harder and do more.

During the event I got the privilege of helping a friend and client to break two hours in the half marathon – something he had been attempting for three years. We did it I might add in 1:59:19. It was great to see such focus and determination on his face and bear witness to his greatness. I could see that it was hard towards the end, and for nearly half an hour he was getting requests by the second from his body to stop and walk because it was too hard. We didn’t walk. On the last hill (a steep section at Michener), he had to dig deeper than ever before, as we had no time to spare, and it was totally unreasonable. He never quit, he kept digging and he made his goal.

Several things come up for me on this. One is that people often set goals that are hard, really hard, and give up, but if you let it, the lesson in there is that we must find new ways to dig deeper. Deeper than we thought possible. That is where growth happens. Most folks have no idea how hard it is to accomplish a goal, because they never have the guts to set a big enough one and then stick with it until it is accomplished.

Another thing my client showed, is how powerful consistency is; we had to run with a purpose the whole time. Take a few short walk breaks with a purpose. Fuel with a purpose the whole time. If you truly want results it is about consistency every day. It took this guy several years to go from 350 lbs to 190 lbs and then to run several half marathons and this year, he broke two hours. Four years ago, to even think about this goal would have been totally unreasonable.

Plus, there is a ripple effect to his being unreasonable; his amazing wife ran her first half marathon in just over two hours and three minutes after dropping a bunch of weight herself! How cool is that?

I had another client today that trained for the Boston Marathon last year.

He trained super hard and was very focused and ran a 2:59:18 marathon at Boston. (which is really fast). For this event he said that his training wasn’t necessarily focused, but that he had been consistent (there is that key word again). He didn’t really have any expectations and just wanted to enjoy the run. As he ran along, he was feeling good and got an unreasonable thought around being fast again, and he set a personal best of 2:58:53.

There it is – consistency. It would have been fair to say at 6:30 a.m. that a personal best was totally unreasonable.

So whatever your next goal, be unreasonable, and then be consistent – that is where the magic is! If you do not have a goal right now, set one. In fact, set 10.

Scott McDermott is a personal trainer and owner of Best Body Fitness in Sylvan Lake.