Such an important word, but one I feel is quickly disappearing from our vocabulary, and more importantly, our skill set! We don’t seem to be able to wait for anything anymore. We need the traffic to move, we need the browser to refresh, now, we don’t want to line up and wait to order our coffee……we just have ability to wait for any extended length of time.
We've forgotten how to be patient.
And our patience for improving our fitness, losing weight, getting stronger, transforming, is also almost non-existent.
We hang off words like, quick, easy, rapid, fast, and we expect these words to be applicable for our bodies. I have news for you, bodies can change, but they don’t always, in fact they rarely, change fast. Which is why I preach the “progress not perfection” motto. If we have a plan, a realistic time frame, and PATIENCE, we are much more likely to reach our goals, because we accept and understand that whilst the body will change, it does so slowly, and ONLY when we create the right "environmental conditions" (training, diet, recovery, consistency) for it to do so.
Plant a seedling, and you expect it to grow? Right? Then shade it, water it, fertilise it and WAIT. We can’t expect that seedling to become a towering tree by next week, so why do we expect differently for ourselves?
The problem with unrealistic expectations and timeframes is that when we don’t achieve these “magical” and sometimes impossible time frames, we become dejected, we lose focus, and dare I say it, we give in. And sometimes we give in just before the change was about to occur, just when our hard work, focus and dedication was about to start paying off.
I see it all to often.
So, I say this, we all need to (me included) maintain and/or develop the skill of patience. The ability to work, wait, work some more, wait even longer and work again, until finally the body starts to change, ever so minutely, but it will change. In fact every workout you do creates a small (and undetectable) change in your physiology. It’s not until we get lots and lots of very small changes together that we produce a change big enough that we can notice it. And when we can see it and feel it, we gain added momentum and belief through a process called intrinsic motivation. That is, we are motivated from within, rather than needing or wanting to be motivated by an external source.
The best way to approach all of this, and be patient is to understand “progress not perfection”. Be satisfied and pleased knowing that each workout makes you a little bit better, each session leaves you a little bit stronger, fitter, more flexible, whatever the outcome is that you are searching for. And then you turn up again, and again, and again, and you keep working towards those little goals, that become big ones.
Simply put - be patient!