“Patience is bitter; but its fruit is sweet” – The Greek philosopher Aristotle
As a writer, philosopher, and educator, Aristotle was a man of many hats. His “gym” The Lyceum, functioned not only as a military training ground, but an institution of higher learning. After all, the ancient greek society believed strongly that a fit body represented a fit mind.
No matter what your goals are, results take time. In an age of instant everything, reminding ourselves of this can become a bit of a challenge. Yes, conveinence and ease are great. When we want directions we just pick up our mobile device. Heck – we don’t even need to type the address in – we just speak into the mic.
A Harvard Magazine article entitled “The Power of Patience,” disusses the “essentials of teaching and learning,” a professor states, “Every external pressure, social and technological, is pushing students in the other direction, toward immediacy, rapidity, and spontaneity. Lately I’ve noticed articles listing “3 minute read” at the beginning. We all scan, skim, and scroll with a quickness looking for that immediate “takeaway.”
Yep, technology is great no doubt about that. I grew up in an era before cellphones became commonplace. We had a house phone with a cord that stretched for days, and because my big sister got good the grades, she was allowed her own line. We shared phone time and had to wait our turn. Looking back on life then, the sense of the immediate and rapid was different.
In just a few weeks, new resolutions will be made and gym memberships will spike. Statistics show that within just a few weeks attendance begins to drop. Why? The short answer; People want what they want when they want it, and if they don’t see immediate results they toss in the towel and call it a day.
“Never throw in the towel, use it to wipe the sweat off your face”
To be sure, the frustration is real. Then again, it doesn’t help to have 30 minute workouts promising to get you ripped in 6 weeks, either. Fitness and exercise is ongoing and continuous – a lifestyle. A great deal of energy is spent on the motivational aspect – as should be. Motivation plays a huge part, right up there with commitment and perserverance.
I remember working the opening shift at a health club. If the front doors were not open precisely at 5am we heard it, believe me. This was a different kind of impatience though, and I could understand, relate. Whatever their motivations, they just wanted to workout something fierce – get ‘er done. Most of these early-bird members would bring there work clothes in garment bags. I too prefer an early morning workout. My day starts out full of energy, my head is clear, and there is no chance that after a hard day, I skip a workout because I’m too tired.
Patience is a virtue and we could all work on having more of it. As our wise teacher above said, “the fruit is sweet.”
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