Just One

At 21, a young man from Florida becomes the first person with Down Syndrome to enter an Ironman competition. He not only enters, he completes the triathlon within the 17-hour time limit. How does he do it? He starts with one push-up at age 18 and his father encourages him to get 1% better every day.

Just 1%.
You can do that, can’t you?

Yes, he can do that. And just like that, his progress comes under his control.

A former colleague maintains her weight for 10 years, at an age when year-over-year weight gain is so much the default it’s almost an obligation. How does she do it? Every year her doctor tells her he’d like to see her lose one pound by the time she comes in for her next annual check-up.

Just one pound.
You can do that, can’t you?

Yes, she can do that. And just like that, her weight comes under her control.

Over time, tiny increments add up to big improvement. Over time, tiny efforts lead to big control. Over time, achievable targets result in achievement.

It’s tempting to take on the world, set big goals, dream big dreams. There’s nothing wrong with big dreams, but maybe the path is traversed not with leaps and bounds but with many small steps. One. Another one. And another.

So, today, what if we joined Chris Nikic in his daily quest to get 1% better? Stronger. Flexible-er. Even patient-er. (What the heck. Dream big, right?) What if this year we joined that colleague and tried to lose just one pound?

We can do that, can’t we?
It’s just one.

Yes, we can do that.

This entry was posted in New Perspectives, Relationships and Behaviour, Sports and Exercise, Thinking Broadly and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Just One

  1. John Whitman says:

    Isabel – the other option for losing weight is to be like me, i.e. cheap and or stubborn. I refuse to buy pants with a larger waist line and when the pants I currently own start to get tight I know it is time to cut back.

  2. Tom Watson says:

    1% a day. Maybe that’s the approach I need to take to get my left leg – which has been stressed due to sciatica – back in the proper shape. I expect better than 1%, but maybe I need to be satisfied with smaller increments.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – Well, I’d want/expect better than 1% with the pain of sciatica, too. But I guess we take what we can get. I hope you get more (relief) soon.

  3. barbara carlson says:

    In 1981 I vowed to write 1/2 hour a day in a journal (to restore my language skills, actually) and now, almost 40 years later, I have typed 5,600 pages and a made of goldmine of stuck-down, detailed entries I am now excerpting (a few pages a day….) to 30″ — from 9 feet of binders. This enforced withdrawal from “life” has been my chance to do it. I calculate it will take me until April 2021. Will we all be let out by then??

  4. Ah, Isabel. I was brimming with motivation — until you mentioned the leggings!

Comments are closed.