Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more

Old Yarn: William Knows It
Old Yarn: William Knows It

The warmer months are here and more people are starting to roll into their ‘summer’ health and fitness campaigns. I’m surprised to see the dismay that occurs when these Joker’s pull on the singlet and silkies (footy shorts) before ripping into the first 10 minutes of training and already they’re blowing out candles. I was telling someone today, if you haven’t showed up to work in 3 months, how’s your bank balance going? Regardless of how high your level of fitness once was, if you haven’t pulled on the sand shoes since Easter you’re going to be battling.


Recently a ‘formerly fit’ charge of mine admitted that since he had attained his high level of fitness (insert girlfriend here), he had become complacent about sustaining his desire to keep his body in great nick. He mentioned my previously talked about ‘Broken Windows Theory,’ which states that if you don’t fix things early big problems ensue. True to form his downhill slide began in small stages but grew exponentially becoming the monster that we know today.


It’s not uncommon for a pervasiveness of laziness to emerge when we become contented with fitness goals already achieved. The need to stay on top and fighting fit is never as severe as the hunger to get there. Once atop the mountain it’s easy to get preoccupied with the view. As William Shakespeare wrote in Julius Caesar:


‘Tis a common proof

That lowliness is young ambition’s ladder,

Whereto the climber upward turns his face.

But when he once attains the upmost round,

He then unto the ladder turns his back,

Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees

By which he did ascend. 


I’m asking for all that to end. If you’ve pulled on the Speedo’s this summer and thought, “Boy o boy,” then this could be your wake up call to once again look up the ladder with renewed vigour and ambition. To have the humility to recognise that you’re not where you once were yet be motivated that you possess the desire to return there. Further even.


If you’ve read enough FIT CHAT’s, you’ll know that I’m often skeptical of comebacks favouring a more consistent training approach. However I recognise the big comeback is part of life and admit the advantage of a comeback is the knowledge of what’s required to climb the ladder again. You’ve been up there before, now do it again.


It’s common for athletes who once invested time and effort in thy self by keeping a regular physical training regime that was fulfilling and motivating to lose their way like Paddington Bear. I’ve seen many once hungry athletes swap ‘long runs and chin ups’ on Sunday’s for brunch in some ‘try hard,’ beachside cafe with a bunch of Toffs, only to pay $19 for ‘organic’ Salmon and ‘homegrown’ parsley, which is more likely Southern Atlantic Scrod and beetroot leaves. You’re not missing much.


There’s nothing pretty about training in the mornings (or training anytime for that matter) but the rewards far outweigh the sacrifice needed to make it reality. My advice: buy a bag of oats for $1.43 and set your alarm. You’ll save money and time sitting around waiting for some ‘trendy’ to serve you food. People in cafes are talking about the stuff you did while they were still surveying their eyelids. Spare me.