What It Takes to Maintain
Go faster. Slow down. It seems we’re always trying to manipulate something in our lives. That’s not always a negative thing, but sometimes we have to simply be and take life one day at a time. Maintain the pace. Maintenance is a pace.
When I first started running, I was excited for every new race and distance. I found myself pushing to set a new PR (personal record). Whether you’re running, walking, lifting weights, etc., you can improve a lot, especially in the beginning. You can increase pace, distance, weights, reps. But eventually, you’ll hit your max. I was never going to run with the Kenyans. However, I put pressure on myself like I would, like I should, keep getting faster. You can only go so far and so fast. You can only lift so much weight. (And I don’t have to tell you what happens when you set a weight loss goal. It’s never enough. There’s always “those last five pounds.”)
You don’t always have to be pushing. You don’t always have to have a goal. You don’t have to be working on something all the time. You don’t have to change anything. Maintenance is okay. In fact, there’s a lot of work in simply maintaining something. Waking up with your alarm day in and day out to have your daily dose of Jesus, fresh air, and movement might seem “routine” to you, but routine is exactly what we’re after. Routine is the magic of building a sustainable healthy lifestyle. There are no PRs involved or news flashes, but it’s how you achieve peace and freedom. It’s where you learn self-compassion and practice embracing your age and stage of life.
Do you need to stop pushing? Is it time for a dose of self-compassion? Can you appreciate where you are, how you got there, and simply be okay to stay there?
Don’t underestimate what it takes to maintain. You can only go so far and so fast for so long.
I’ve done a lot of training programs. Some included things like intervals and steady state runs. Although intervals had me going a lot faster than a steady state run, I got walk breaks in the middle. I’d push hard, then I’d spend a few minutes recovering. With a long, steady state run, I had to maintain a pace over several miles. That took physical and mental endurance. It’s the same with your healthy habits. Doing the same thing day in and day out takes commitment.
It’s okay to stop pushing. Stop raising expectations. Get off the “it’s never enough” train and let right now, right where you are, be enough. Because you are enough.
Cheering you on!
If you need support as you commit to maintaining your pace, my Faith and Fitness Support and Accountability Community is for you.
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