Small steps

I’ve tried to get into an exercise routine forever.  I’ve had some success with things that involve a class or a team, but I’ve never been able to maintain something when it’s just me.  Tried running, tried bodyweight stuff in my house, nothing really stuck.  It wasn’t until I sat down recently and really thought about it that it came to me.

I love learning new technologies, especially programming languages.  At one point in my career, I was bouncing around through so many that it actually bit me in the butt during a review.  I wasn’t focusing on the thing that would make it possible to get me contracting work – nice little wake-up call.  Okay, focus on what can sustain me, just do that.

But then I got bored and started doing it at night and on the weekends and after adjusting my schedule so it didn’t interfere with my family time, I came to a happy medium.  I could dabble here and there, and when possible, try to bring those solutions or at least the idea to use at work somehow.

The ‘AHA’ moment for me was that I could approach exercise like I did programming.  When I build a PHP page or figure out how to get Ruby to compile, I HAVE something.  I’ve accomplished something with little to no thought of ‘should I’, or ‘what else could I be doing’.  Last night was a perfect example.  My boss was looking to do something to pull groups from AD into a report, and I remembered a few things from one of the sessions I attended at Pass Summit and realized I could do it in Powershell.  So I started doing it and hit a few blocks, but I got it to work.

This morning I took the same approach, I just started doing it.  I opened my eyes, realized it was an hour before my alarm, and instead of rolling back over, I got out of bed, shut off the alarm, got into my clothes and out the door without thinking about what else I could be doing instead.  Let me tell you, it was chilly this morning, but I got in my car and drove over to campus and did my 20 laps in the pool.  The fact that I don’t mind swimming is probably more help than I’m acknowledging, but the fact that I thought about it, I approached it differently than any other routine is the AHA moment for me.

Think about something you really want to do, and if possible, just take a stab at it.  Then do it again.  If it’s exercise, listen to your body!!!  I had cramps all up and down my left arm so I gave it an extra day and felt better, so I went this morning.

If you’ve always wanted to see if BIML will work for you, or looked into being a BI developer instead of what you’re doing now, go for it.  Carve out some time where you won’t be bothered and just take a stab at it.  It’s small steps like this that will move you down the path, or in my case, get me out of the weeds, through the trees, across the pond, and onto the path.

Good luck!

3 thoughts on “Small steps

  • I totally get how having something for all your effort makes a process more rewarding. You should look into a linear progression strength training program like Starting Strength.

    I’d tried “working out” for years and got nothing out of it. Switched to SS about a year and a half ago and I’ve never been happier. A 515lb deadlift ain’t bad for a guy pushing 40.

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