“I don”™t stop when I”™m tired. I only stop when I”™m done.”

It surprised me to learn that the above quotation came from Marilyn Monroe. How many times have we heard those words in connection with athletics?

In the training and weight loss program I taught for 14 years, participants would sometimes wish for a day off, or even several days. They”™d tell that to the strength-training coach, for example, and his reply was an annoyed, “There are no days off! This is it — the way you eat, the way you train — all the time.”

Men can get away with saying things like that more easily than women can, I think. Regardless, I appreciated him for saying it — and, of course, agreed with him.

One participant asked me if she could stop keeping her food log on the weekends. She acted as if (and maybe actually believed) she just wanted a break from logging.

It seemed obvious, though, that those days off would only encourage her sugar addiction. I imagined her stopping the log not on Saturday, but on Friday morning, eating sugar nonstop for three days, and re-starting her log sometime on Monday.

What I pictured most vividly, however, was her discovery that she wasn”™t losing weight and asking for my help. But we”™d have no records of her weekly binges.

I told her the truth: I couldn”™t stop her from doing that but wasn”™t going to approve it. How could I agree to help her fail and then tell others that our program didn”™t work?

Toward the end of 2014, I read an article for entrepreneurs on finishing a great business year. The author explained that the only way to finish the year strong was absolutely to understand that there would “never be a day that (would) not require dedication, discipline, perseverance, accountability, and the need to execute relentlessly.”

Wow. That article may have been written about business but is all about fitness, athletic training, even weight loss. We know success in those areas depends on consistent and persistent action, not on temporary changes till the pounds are lost or the goal is reached.

I must be in a quotation kind of mood because Dan Millman comes to mind:

“There are no ordinary moments.”

Isn”™t that what wishing for a day off is — a wish for moments that simply don”™t count? Moments with no repercussions, when we can do what we know we shouldn”™t and not suffer the consequences?

I”™ve wanted those moments, too: when the alarm wakes me at some ridiculous hour to go train, for instance, or when I was flat-out tired of writing my dissertation.

We”™ve probably all had moments when we wish for ordinary moments. But since I”™m quoting everyone else”™s wisdom today, here”™s the proverb I like best in this context:

“When climbing a mountain, give up a thousand times; just keep your feet moving.”

That one really works. We can mentally go in any direction — discouraged, foolish, negative, fanciful, absurd — but never let it affect our behavior or change our plan of action.

At this point in January, some of our participants or clients may already be struggling with a motivation slow-down. Instead of trying to recharge everyone”™s battery, which will need to be done over and over, why not encourage them just to keep their feet moving, no matter what?

And on that note, how about one final quote:

I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act, but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act. — G.K. Chesterton

Joan Kent

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