I was inspired on New Year’s Eve 2015 to start exercising regularly. Doug Wilcoxen, a fellow Pomona College student and resident of Wig Hall 30+ years ago, wrote on Facebook that day that he had been to the gym 315 times during the year. I remember Doug in college as being sane and not a freakish jock, so I thought that if Doug could exercise regularly, then maybe I could, too.
I decided to go to the gym or do something physical daily as long as I could. I also decided that if I missed a day or two, I would restart the routine as soon as I was able. I wondered what would happen.
My resolution had inspired me to drag myself to the gym on those days I felt a little under the weather or felt pressured by time. I didn’t want to end my streak, so I’d go and do 30 minutes of core body, upper body, or cardio… or maybe just walk the streets for a solid half hour.
On 1/1/2017 I thought that after My Year of Daily Exercise, I would give myself permission to skip a day here or there.
I underestimated my own anal retentiveness.
Yesterday I completed 3 years of doing something physical for 30 minutes a day. That’s 1096 days in a row.
As today’s locker room picture above shows, the repetition doesn’t make me a young muscle stud, or muscle stud of any age. But, the fixation on daily activity has been good for me.
My routine has me heading to the gym as soon as the girls have been fed and re-settled down. So, I am usually at the gym at 6:30 am, or at 7 am opening on weekend and holidays. This starts my day.
More important than any physical prowess gained is the understanding and gratitude I have because I have been lucky. I haven’t had any serious illness or injury in three years.
No flu, debilitating colds, or Serious Conditions that randomly hit people of a certain age. I am of a certain age, so appreciate not being a random victim.
I thought I would intentionally break the streak at 1000 days. But, I mis-estimated when Day 1000 would be, and didn’t make an accurate count of the days until something like day 1020. I decided not to stop intentionally at some weired, non-milestone day.
Now, after three years, I am okay with missing a day or two. Life will happen. Flu or worse always lurks. And, some day I could decide that just that day I do not feel like walking or gymming.
But, I will restart when I am able and get back into the habit doing 30 minutes of physical activity most days.,
After all, if Doug Wilcoxen can do it, so can I.