The Italian Stallion and Setting Fitness Milestones
“Rocky.” 35 years after its release, it’s still mesmerizing. Watching Mr. Balboa in that montage running through the Italian Market and up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art never gets old. Having lived in Philadelphia for four years, I know all too well the inspiring nature of the film. And really, you’ve got to root for a guy who names his turtles Cuff and Link.
Seeing “Rocky” recently made me think about what it takes to energize people into a regular fitness routine. If you work out regularly, can you remember how you got started? Was it a New Year’s resolution? Did you find it difficult to lift a bag of marshmallows from the counter? If you don’t work out now, why not? What would it take you to get off your ass and into the gym?
The thing is, you don’t need to go up against the world heavyweight champion to kickstart a proper fitness routine. You also don’t need some cranky old man yelling at you day in and day out. “Rocky” is a great example of physical achievement via a mounting challenge. Present yourself with an initial fitness challenge and you’re more likely to keep working out .
If you want to know if this works, just ask Jeff Fedorko, director of the Virginia 10 miler race. In a September interview with “The News & Advance,” Fedorko acknowledged that the Virginia 10 miler had “become a vehicle for area residents to make a lifetime commitment to physical fitness.” People who didn’t regularly run or participate in physical activity had started doing so after competing in the race.
If you’re looking to start a regular fitness regimen, why not set up a challenge for yourself, something that you will feel proud of upon completing. It doesn’t have to be a fight against Apollo Creed or Ricardo Romero. Perhaps you could take a cue from the Virginia 10 miler success story and sign up for a short race yourself. If running’s not your thing, how about challenging yourself to 100 pushups without stopping? Just make sure whatever you choose, it’s something actually challenging to your current level of fitness.
The best part about this goal setting is that once you reach one goal, you can set another one up for yourself and keep progressing. If you take part in a half-marathon and start running regularly, you can challenge yourself to a full-on marathon a few months down the road; one good thing leads to another.
Really, no matter where you are on the fitness spectrum, you should be setting up new goals for yourself. If you keep benching the same amount, running the same distance, etc., you’re not challenging yourself and you’re bound to plateau. Fitness is a priority, therefore making progress is a priority.
While there’s no need to start downing a glass of raw eggs in the morning, you should start challenging yourself. Whether you’re rocking a six pack or a beer belly, making goals for yourself is a great way to get and stay physically fit. Set personal milestones and you’ll be well on your way to a healthy lifestyle and great physique. One great achievement deserves a sequel; just disregard “Rocky V.”
About John Brhel John Brhel is a freelance writer from upstate New York that enjoys picking apart life's idiosyncrasies and listening to Huey Lewis & the News.