February 1st is only a few days away, and the excitement is building for the Fitness Challenge. Well, in some ways. The idea of a month-long fitness challenge with lots of people challenging themselves to a more active lifestyle is great. The execution sometimes loses its lustre when we actually experience the work in our workouts.

But short-sighted (metaphorically, not literally) people only look at their immediate surroundings and can fail to see far enough ahead to the longer-term results. You will probably feel tired, unmotivated, discouraged, frustrated or even a bit physically sore if you are starting some new physical activity. I’m not going to sugar-coat it: these things may be the price of admission, so to speak, to the active lifestyle. If you read my recent “Stay In The Saddle” post, you probably caught the idea that you can generally avoid the startup discomfort by. . . staying active. I’m not hear to lecture or scold. But I do find reality to be instructive, if not forgiving.

And so to get back to the point, the 2017 countdown really is on. Two days from now, we start in earnest. As you prepare for it, get some good rest, drink plenty of water, and try to eat sensibly.  Remember, if you have ANY concerns about your physical readiness, talk with your doctor and let them know you are planning to ramp up your activity level.

Be sure to keep a notepad (or spreadsheet) handy so you can record your progress. Being active at something for a month should result in some improvements in your agility, stamina and strength. Keeping track of your progress will help you see that you are getting better! Anything that can encourage you will help.

The consensus from last year’s participants with whom I have talked is that, this year, they are going into the challenge in better shape, and they are pumped about what they will accomplish this time around.

The organization where I work has been very supportive, and I have made a few personal challenges to folks in other organizations. If you have “connections” like that, why not issue them a challenge?

Talk to you soon, and thanks so much for your interest and participation.