FHB Contributer/Spokesmodel Andrew Reid:
Having once been serious about my exercise and nutrition goals before falling into years of bad habits (also known as grad school, career, and marriage — wait, better edit the last one out — although many of us gain a bit when we settle down), I’ve experienced before the benefits of using goals to help motivate myself and provide a series of milestones to build on. Honestly, milestones can be like the sun peeking out on a cloudy day hinting that whatever you are doing is good for you and that the benefits, like the sun’s rays, will be with you long after it has passed behind a cloud again.
So, when I started riding again, I decided to use goals to help keep things fresh and give me something to shoot for. On a bike, the logical targets are miles and time. Ride so far without taking a break. Break your personal best on a ride you have ridden before. It always feels good when you do, but it is important not to beat yourself up if you don’t — everyone has an off day, sometimes the wind is blowing hard, it rains, you get a flat tire, or you see a really beautiful deer or fox beside the road or trail. Come back to the fact that even world class sprinters don’t set records on every run, but they are out there practicing and learning everyday how different variables impact them.
For October, I set myself a goal of 500 dirt and road miles on my bike. With 31 days to achieve that, my month was off to a roaring start in Maine (see previous blog)! However, with two travel days, three days of flu, and some wet weather (as in World Series stopping wet weather!), the last week of the month finds me scrambling to hit the target, and with a day to go I am 23 miles away from meeting it despite already braving the cold and wet… but goals are powerful things and I’ll be out there tomorrow working to meet my goal and better my health. Because Saturday starts a new month and the odometer goes back to zero again! What will your odometer say in November? Don’t let the rain wash out your fitness… — AR