There is a short list of important fitness lessons that every person aspiring to improve his/her fitness MUST learn in order to be successful not only in the long term, but for the rest of your life. I'd like to cover two of them here.
1) Fitness is a dial, *NOT* an on/off switch.
- Remember that guy from high school who was Mr. Athletic, could bench 2,000 lbs and didn't even brag about it, ran the winning touchdown at the state championships in the last remaining seconds of the game in a goal that was so glorious and so divine that rays from heaven shone down from above and doves were everywhere and crying like in that Prince song? And how you saw him 10 years later and he's no longer athletic and works in an insurance office and has a gut that sticks out like an air conditioner? A stark contrast, no? Now, you can't be an all-star elite-level athlete forever, but you don't have to be a fat insurance agent with faded glory and stories only from your past and not your present; you can find a middle ground, and you must. Life gets out of your way sometimes, and when that happens you can put the pedal to the medal. But when life throws you curve balls like an increase in work at your job, a spouse and a few loud hell spawn (some refer to them as "kids"), rather than flip the light off you can dim it. There will still be light in your room as long as you let there be. In time you can always turn it back up, but it's much harder to go from 0-100 than it is to go from, say, 50-75. Plus, if you're consistently going from 50-75, you'll be far ahead of anyone and everyone who is only going 0. Which brings me to my next point...
2) Find an excuse to succeed.
- Count how long it took you to read this Pulitzer prize-worthy post by a certain wise-beyond-his-years and devastatingly handsome (not to mention humble and totally realistic) Hebrew Hammer. Now set a timer and see how many pullups or squats you can do in the same amount of time. You'll probably get a pretty decent amount, and even if it's nothing eye-popping, it's still more than you would have done had you not been moved by yours truly to do something.
And that's the point - when the going gets really tough and you don't even have, say, 20 minutes to dedicate to training, appeal to methods that will still allow you to get a lot of quality work in in the time you DO have. Calisthenics exercises and a Grease The Groove (doing a few strong reps throughout the day, every day) approach will allow you to continue to move forward, even if it's not at 100 miles per hour. Forward is forward, and whether it's at a scooter's pace or a Ferrari's pace, it's the direction you must continue to go. Sure, a Ferrari is more luxurious and speedy than a scooter, but if you don't have any other option for your transportation, would you REALLY rather just sit still and go nowhere or see how far that scooter can get you? I've seen people choose the do-nothing option and I've seen people do the "scooter" option. Those willing to do SOMETHING, though it may not be ideal, are always happier and feel more in control of their fitness than the other group. They're also consistently fitter, too. Wonder why.
In short, stay the course, no matter how windy and twisted it may get. It beats the hell out of letting moss grow on your feet.
Pictured is a sweet little baby who's got the right idea.