But what about me? I thought to myself as I'm riding on the 7 express on my way home that night. At every stop the street lights flicker and the commuters ebb and flow to the rhythm of the moonlit sky. Am I being true to myself? Am I being true to Amy? Is this connection between Glee, inertia, and a happier healthier life applicable to me?
The superficial answer to the rhetorical question is obviously not. I am definitely not overweight or obese (in fact, if I could gain a few pounds, that would be ideal!), I run just about everyday, I walk everywhere, and about to start swimming lessons too. So the problem of inertia for me as it relates to exercise and activity isn't learning how to start moving, like it is for Amy. It is actually learning how to stop!
But in a broader sense, the issue of inertia isn't just about finding the motivation to start. It is also about maintaining a certain pace and direction of travel and having the courage to change course if the projected destination is no longer acceptable or desirable. For what good is it to walk and run and train and work hard to be active for the sake of being active if the end result isn't really what you want?
For me personally, it was this last question that I struggled with the most coming home from the office that night after seeing Amy. Although I was scheduled to start my sixteen week marathon training the next day, I was ill-prepared to do so because I hadn't yet settled on a plan. To be honest, I was initially planning on using use another Pfitzinger program as the basis for the genesis of my own training program just like I did in years past. But after experiencing a plateau in my marathon times the past two cycles with the various Pfitzinger plans, I have doubts whether I should be following Pfitzinger as blindly and closely as I did before. After all, do I want another 3:02 or 3:04 in my next marathon, or do I need to overcome my own inertia and try for something better? I know we all know the answer to that one. (I'll have more to say about this in my next post where I plan to reveal, discuss and evaluate my training plan for the NJ marathon in relation to what I've done in the past.)
The general point though is that even for those of us who treat running and athletics as a way of life, we still need to constantly examine and evaluate our training and our goals to ensure that they are compatible with our needs, our objectives, our schedules and where it is we want to go. If we find that one or more of these parameters are obsolete or no longer applicable, we must be flexible and adjust our training, goals, and expectations accordingly.
As you can see then, the problem of inertia and overcoming inertia is always there whether you're moving at 6 minute miles, 10 minute miles, or no miles at all - just as Newton predicted it would be more than 500 years ago! The question is whether we are personally and collectively willing to accept the challenge of overcoming the inertia in our own lives as well as inspiring others to do the same for theirs. When the time comes, I hope we are and I hope we do!