Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Day 54, Newton's First Law of Motion

For those of you who missed or slept through physics class, that would be the law that states:
An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion.
Where did Newton get his hair done? It's so Fab!
This law applies to all matter, from the orbit of planets to the atoms in our bodies. It is also very true for something like The Peak Condition Project. I do some sort of training every day, seven days a week, and I wouldn't have it any other way. For me, days off are not helpful to being in peak shape. The reason is that after taking a day off it's even harder for me to get back out there and resume my training.

Today I was sorely tempted to not do any exercise. I felt terrible. My body was aching from a physically taxing video shoot the day before. It was cold and rainy outside, and I had work to do inside. I sat in my chair and debated for a good 15 minutes whether to just pack it in for the day and do some extra stuff tomorrow. But I told myself, "This is what you do now, Tarek (when talking to myself I still use my Berber name) you get out of the apartment and train. You jump the damn jumprope and pull on the rubber bands and lift your body weight repetitively. This is not an option. This is what you do now."

So I made it out to the studio, and started jumping rope. The first few hundred were painful, my calves were tight and I got a side-stitch immediately. But after that, something wonderful happened. I could feel the heat of the exercise slowly going down into my legs, and up into my shoulders. I started feeling good. I put in 1500 jumps and was psyched to work the bands. I was really good about my form and did some extra sets.

Now, here's where the magic of Newton's first law kicks in. After my workout, I was feeling much better and still wanted to keep moving. So I went to the bank and did a transfer I had been putting off, paid an electric bill, did the grocery shopping for the week, got home and cleaned out my bookcase. All of this energy was completely absent as I sat in the chair wondering whether to even workout earlier that morning... where did it come from? Newton baby!

Sometimes we rationalize laziness, thinking "well, if I get good and rested now I'll have a lot of energy later and get more done." This doesn't work. I think about how I feel after one hour of yoga, vs. after one hour of watching TV. Technically, I should have more energy after sitting passively, "resting" in front of the TV, but we all know that's not the case. How many times have you said "Well, that was a fine hour of programming, now I'm really ready to get on with my day!" Usually it's, "I guess I have time for one more episode..." Am I right or am I right.

So, when feeling lethargic and unmotivated, remember Newton. The hardest thing is getting the ball rolling. After that you will happily tend to stay in motion.

No days off.

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