Neil Armstrong said it on July 20, 1969, as he stepped off the stair of the Apollo 11 lunar module, the Eagle, and stepped for the first time onto the surface of the moon. “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The first person in human history to set foot on the moon! As monumental as Mr. Armstrong’s step onto the moon was, it was still just one small step.
Sometimes I think our minds would have us believe that the next step we want to take in growing our business or changing our health or fixing our relationship, is as far-fetched as walking on the moon. It seems almost impossible and yet Apollo 11 was a successful mission. They accomplished what they set out to do — walk on the moon and return safely home.
Of course, Mr. Armstrong’s famous step was one step but it wasn’t his first step in the process of getting there. There were many steps of preparation that came before the one that will be remembered forever, the one that was viewed by 93% of Americans on their TV sets that evening in the summer of 1969.
When I began my health journey I was a bona fide couch potato. I started by trying to get some movement in my life so I began walking my dog a couple times a week. Then I found myself going more often, like 4-5 times a week. That progressed to walking farther, in fact, too far for my old dog to go with me. Then I started jogging & walking, each week trying to walk less and jog more.
The turning point for me was when I started doing these activities with consistency. Rather than going to the gym whenever I felt like it, cuz let’s be honest, when you are a couch potato, you never feel like going, to scheduling my gym time or my jog/walks on my calendar. I made it more of a priority and was committed to my schedule. That provided the consistency I needed to see real progress in my physical abilities and changes in my body.
My point is this. It takes action to see change. But the action doesn’t have to be monumental. In fact, it would be dangerous to go from the couch to attempting to run a marathon. It sounds crazy, and yet, many people have those unrealistic expectations of themselves when they start a new program. If you are a couch potato or someone who has a desire to get more movement and mobility in your life, start with one step, followed by the next step, and so on. The idea is not to overdo it because you are more likely to get discouraged or injured. Just do a little more than you have been doing. And keep doing that. Each day or each week, add to what you are doing. Go farther or faster than you did the week before. Push yourself through the mind battle that is telling you to stop because I can tell you from experience, our bodies can do far more than our mind thinks it can.
Take life one step at a time and find joy in the process. As I have been on this journey to better health, I have gone from hating it but doing it out of obligation, knowing I really needed to do something, to loving working out and missing it if it is an off day. I love being more active and more able to do the activities I want to do with my family. Being overweight and out of shape will never be my excuse again.