Moving forward feels so much easier than backtracking . . .

This applies to more than just what happened recently on my way to the gym.  Let me explain.

My husband and I headed out to the gym together, with everything we needed for a quick workout . . . except – oh no! – my running shoes.  I discovered the oversight when we parked and I gathered everything:  Purse?  Check.  Phone?  Check.  Shoes for my workout?  Hmmm.  Gotta go back home.

That’s what this winter has done to me.  On the positive side, I am wearing boots more often; in the past, I have worn shoes and ended up tracking water and salt all over.  On the negative side, . . . well, my boots are really not the best for the treadmill.

As I drove back for the shoes, I had plenty of time to think.  I was irritated, really irritated!!  It was only 20 extra minutes, not a terrible delay, but it felt excruciating.  Why?  I decided that it was because I was back-tracking, moving away from my destination, not toward it.  (Interestingly, I had a huge mental shift in the 30 seconds between parking the car and heading back to the gym.)

I think it’s all about forward movement.  It just feels so much more positive and productive.   Even so, it is helpful to remember that we may actually learn more as we watch ourselves moving away from it.

This is true of any goal, but because I am a nutrition professional, I am especially interested in how this affects nutrition and health goals.  It feels wonderful to be “in charge” of choices, moving toward a more positive health state:  lower weight, lower cholesterol, or anything else.

The difficulty arises when something causes a change of course, and suddenly the goal looks very, very far away, and seems to get fainter and fainter the farther away it gets.  This is part of the process, but getting back to forward movement is the only way to get there.  What can you learn from the experience?  Learn something, or remind yourself of what you already know, and then turn that car around!

There is no sense in lamenting whatever caused the detour – in my case, forgetfulness – because it is over.  I could have given up and curled up at home with a book instead of going back to work out, but I turned around right away.  A few silent curse words and a tiny kick of the snow bank with my thick snow boot, and I was headed back with my shoes.  I even found myself thinking, I’m glad I have my boots on now, because that would have hurt if I had my running shoes on.

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2 responses to “Moving forward feels so much easier than backtracking . . .

  1. I had one of those weeks…just seemed like external forces were trying to sabotage my health journey. After working a full day, I had to request an appt with my dentist about a tooth problem – normally I enjoy seeing him every 6 months when he checks me out after the hygienist and says “good to go.” Well, this time the message was….the dreaded- you need a ROOT CANAL!!! Eeeeeek! On top of it, this unscheduled visit caused me to miss a scheduled appointment with my trainer at the gym. I walked out of his office and found myself clenched up with anxiety and stress. I got in the car, realized I had a fully loaded gym bag with me and said to myself, “I’m in control – I’m going to go to the gym and excorcize / exercise this bad mood and stress with sweat!” I,too, changed the course my day was on and felt great by the time I got home! I still need the root canal, but I think I’ll survive it.

  2. Nothing like a trip to the gym – it really is like an exorcism sometimes! Good luck with the root canal.

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