curiosity across disciplines

Fitness and starts

I'm convinced that the first publication from any new creator is four parts thinly-veiled insecurity and one part great idea.

Turns out, that's also how most of us show up when we embark on our first (or a long-since-abandonded) fitness routines.

Maybe we "start" by agonizing over every detail in programming, scheduling, gear, or meal prepping, conveniently whisking away the insecurity for a while.

Or maybe we "start" by skimping on the exercises we're especially self-conscious about, assuming our technique is as coordinated as a 3-month old, floppy-eared labrador navigating a cramped gingerbread house competition.

And maybe, the "starting" part of publishing this blog was, perhaps, a bit...post-poned (not sorry).

Four parts insecurity.

Simply replace the "procrastination of starting a fitness routine" with "buying domains and pestering friends for unheeded input," and swap "half-assing it in the gym" with "endless tinkering with themes, color schemes, and CSS" and you've neatly captured my own personal publishing hell.

Now clearly, the from-the-bleachers answer to both situations is "just start." Though, thinking back to anytime you've listened to someone divulge a genuine struggle with getting going, did "just start" ever help?

No, it did not. And why is just "knowing what to do" so profoundly inadequate? Something here is missing.

(Spoiler, it's insecurity).

Consider a freak accident or sudden change in health. An offhand comment from a grandkid asking why your back hurts, posed in that elegantly simple way kids cut through adult nonsense. Wanting to be proactive about prolonging one's own looming mortality. You know, the cheerful stuff.

These are the things that show up in "origin stories" in TED talks, books, and ad copy for the latest promise that $49.99 will auto-magically address you all your prior fitness failures.

These are also the things that, critically, have more inertia than the insecurities.

For me, my inertia was the realization that reps are reps. You can get slightly further thinking about blogging than you can thinking about lifting, but not by much.

This realization took me from a punishingly mundane knowing to an elusive understanding.

It helped me realize that what we get stuck on is personal, but getting stuck is universal. The baggage fell away. Or, at least, it became lighter.