Written by Krista Bergeron
Is accepting mediocrity actually bad?
I’ve been thinking about this question a lot lately. In relation to fitness, I see a lot of people’s goals come and go. I see ambitious plans that end in failure (or perceived failure) because they weren’t sustainable, results weren’t met, or even if goals were hit, the person remained unsatisfied with what they thought would make them happy.
When we have big goals, we sometimes psyche ourselves out with analysis paralysis: What’s the perfect program? What’s the perfect meal plan? How hard do I need to go? What final result will make me feel satisfied if I accomplish it? All these factors pale in comparison to the most important variable, which is what will you actually do? That’s right – day in, day out, what do you actually execute, and why?
This brings me back to my initial question: is accepting mediocrity actually bad?
What if committing to an easy goal was actually a pathway to success? Doing something you perceive as “easy,” but doing it consistently and with the mindset of self-love and care, can culminate in much greater gains than abusing yourself or treating your body as something that needs to be punished or changed in order for you to be happy. I will give you a personal example that has changed my life for the better.
A little over a year ago, I committed to walking or running outside EVERY SINGLE DAY. Prior to doing this, if I wasn’t going hard on a “cardio” workout, I didn’t really see the value, and therefore I didn’t do it if it wasn’t going to be all-out. This resulted in a lot of missed movement opportunities whenever I wasn’t in the mood for an all-out cardio session.
However, as the days and months of walking passed, I grew accustomed to this ritual I created. I allowed myself to listen to myself – to run when I felt like running, and to walk when my body just wanted to slow down and feel the sun on my face.
I came to need and crave this time that once seemed like a “waste.” I filled this time with podcasts that inspired, educated, or just made me laugh. I filled this time with a chance to clear my head in nature without music or podcasts. I filled this time with walks with friends and family, connecting or talking about the things we all deal with in our lives. Without fail, I did this every single day, rain or shine.
I set out to do less. I was accepting mediocrity, giving myself a break from always pushing SO HARD physically. I gave myself time to think every day, even when that walk time seemed indulgent. I came to understand that this “mediocre” form of exercise was transformative for my health, both mentally and physically.
A year passed and I realized that in that time, doing what I saw as the least I could do, I ended up mostly walking 1275 miles, or just under 50 marathons worth of miles in a year. Now, listen…I’m not equating that to actually running a marathon, which is insane. But I am illustrating that by just showing up and being consistent, things get done – results happen in spite of it being “easy.”
Commit to an easy goal like a daily walk and see what happens. You might find out like I did, that being gentle with yourself and doing it because it makes you happy or feels good is the best and most important reason to move your body. My walks are less about “getting exercise” than just treating myself to taking a pause from all the stuff I have to do in a day. Let the sun shine on your face or enjoy the rain and how beautiful our city is when you see it on foot. I can tell you one thing, I never feel worse after a walk.
Krista is the owner of Austin Simply Fit. If you’re interested in a personal trainer who will help you create real, sustainable habits to meet your goals, click here to schedule your free consult and first workout.