Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fight Inertia!

I think one of the hardest things for me to do is to recapture momentum.

It's such an amazing thing, momentum. Just the act of moving creating more movement. The success of one step inspiring another. There are times it feels almost effortless, whatever it is you're doing, as long as you keep the momentum.

For whatever reason, the momentum I had earlier in the year for a healthy lifestyle waned this summer. And holy smokes, it's so hard to pick it back up.

I've just been in a bit of a fitness funk and a nutrition funk, and all of that tends to add up to a less-than desirable general funk. I stare at the same ingredients in the kitchen that used to come together in yummy recipes and I just can't figure out what to do with them now. The thought of defrosting and dicing up a chicken makes me absolutely exhausted before I even begin! The idea of packing my gym bag seems daunting.

Why is this? It didn't seem like that big of a stretch just a few months ago. Sure, it was a little added work in my day, but the benefits were pretty awesome, and it wasn't like I was spending hours cooking or preparing food. The food was great, so it was worth it! Now, though, most of my meals have gone back to being frozen meals or from a box. And lemme just say: yuck.

Maybe I just need to shake things up. I feel like I'm missing the trees for the forest here. Change seems so daunting and overwhelming and exhausting. Maybe I just need to focus on one meal at a time and quit trying for a complete overhaul in one day.

In college, I read Ethan Frome in one of my many English classes. I remember having a discussion about inertia...about how things are always the same because nothing bothers to change. In the midst of this discussion, I had this epiphany about how my course work had been come just I was missing all these opportunities to learn, I was allowing all this knowledge to slip through the cracks of my brain in pursuit of a decent grade and a quick degree. Nothing was changing (as in, I wasn't actually learning) because everything was the same (homework was just a task to accomplish, not a chance to gain knowledge.)

I went home that day and wrote on a marker board above my desk, "The goal is knowledge. Fight inertia!' I wanted to remind myself daily that it wasn't about the piece of paper at the end. It was about what my brain retained at the end of the journey.

My dad sent me a picture of the board not long ago, and I couldn't help but shake my head at how often I need that reminder. Not just about knowledge, but about many aspects of life.

It's so easy to slow down and get comfortable and eventually to find yourself in a rut. It's so, SO hard to pick yourself up (or kick yourself out) of that rut. And it's even harder to work up all your dissatisfaction into actual momentum towards whatever it is you're trying to reach.

Do you ever feel like you'll spend your life learning the same lessons over and over? Yeah, that's me right now.

So I find myself in the familiar position of trying to get started all over again. I know what needs to be done. Shoot, I've done it many times before. I just need to break out the jumper cables and restart my motivation and just. get. moving.

Tomorrow is a new day. Let's try this again from the top...

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