Warm Up

It’s November, the cold is tightening its grip, and my bed felt oh so good this morning. I didn’t want to work out, high-intensity or otherwise. I didn’t want to get up at all to be honest. And I know I’m not alone…

You know what I’m talking about, right?

No matter how in shape or determined you are, it can be enticingly easy to put off exercise or making healthy choices.

There are probably some of you shaking your heads.

“Nope, not me, I never hit the snooze button.” You never let anything get in the way. I envy you; I want to learn from you.

But whether you’re in pretty good shape, a physical specimen or just breaking free from your couch potato days, there are still times you’ll hit a wall or plateau.

How do you muscle through that blockage? How do you battle and conquer the seesaw effect – working out, then not, working out, then not? Or how do you get off the couch to finally take the plunge toward achieving your health and fitness goals?

Those questions are what led to this month’s cover story (page 20).

We found three locals who are all at different stages in their personal fitness; making drastic transformations, pushing past plateaus and battling the common on-again, off-again workout relationship. We aimed to answer our questions through their stories and the opinions of local experts.

And at the end of the day, it’s all up to you to take the risk.

Pause for just a moment and think of your current fitness or health goals. If you don’t have any, make some. Or one. You have to start somewhere.

Personally, one of my several is to simply be in better shape than I was in that photo above that was taken a year ago.

Maybe you just want to drop a few pounds or create better eating habits. Or perhaps you want to improve your 10k PR or amp up your bench press. Whatever it is, I want to know. Really. My email is right there at the bottom.

We’ll come back to this.

I’ve never been much of a risk-taker.

I was the girl rollerblading on the playground with a helmet and decked out in knee and elbow pads.

I didn’t play sports. I don’t like to gamble. I’ve never broken a bone. And my only significant scars are from crashes on my bicycle – one of which happened on a bike trail, for goodness sake.

Aside from jumping out of an airplane last year (and I’m not even sure how I convinced myself to take that risky leap, but I’m glad I did), I’ve just never been that person.

But since we last met in the pages of this magazine, my quality of life has greatly increased by learning and embracing the fact that sometimes you have to take a risk. As someone naturally averse to such things, what’s my secret?

One percent. I make an effort every day to try to improve just 1 percent.

This isn’t my invention. I stole it from one of my favorite writers, James Altucher, who I probably talk about more than I should.

One percent might seem like a small amount, but if you improve just that much every day, that’s almost 3,800 percent a year. Focusing on incremental goals along the way – and not being afraid to make small risks or changes in your routine – is a process well worth the outcome.

Just try it.

Chelsea Castle