Workout of the Day

On the Hunt for Consequences

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Think about the times in your life when you’ve taken things seriously -- I mean very seriously -- when you’ve committed all of your time and energy to ensure that you’re doing things right, when you check and double check all of your decisions, when you leave no stone unturned. Preparing to have your first child? Purchasing your first home? Recovering from a serious illness? Relocating across the country? Changing careers? Making a large investment?
I would be willing to bet that the common thread of these occasions that you’ve taken very seriously and truly committed to is the presence of consequences. These consequences can be financial, personal, relational, health-related, whatever. Consequences are a powerful tool in getting us to crack down and commit to doing our best.

Generally we don’t seek out consequences (and in fact, we usually avoid them). Consequences are hard -- they mean risk, and we tend not to like risk. But consequences also provide a gateway to attention, effort, and vigor that is nearly impossible to tap into in their absence. And in many ways, consequences surround some of the most powerful and enriching decisions we make and ventures we engage in.

On the flip side, the absence of consequences tends to breed complacency, apathy, and negligence. Think of the individual for whom everything has always been provided, regardless of merit or effort. Think of the individual or institution with unlimited safety nets. This absence of risk and consequence permits us to get away with minimal or haphazard effort.

The tricky thing, and the real crux of this all, is that consequences aren’t always apparent. Things like high-dollar business deals or serious medical ailments tend to show us the consequences loud and clear, and thus easily and readily demand a proportional response. But what about things that don’t have such immediate consequences? Things where the consequences may not be visible right away? Your health? Your emotional fulfillment? Your stress levels? These are the the areas that, I would argue, of are high importance, but receive disproportionately low attention and energy.

The truth of the matter is, you can probably get away without doing a whole lot for your fitness and still manage to keep your heart beating for a good 70+ years. Modern medical technology has done wonders for our ability to preserve life. Now, fitness will likely contribute to prolonging this lifespan to some level; but more importantly, the quality of this life and the fulfillment involved therein are at stake here. There are consequences. The degree of these consequences, I suppose, depends on your perspective. Are you primarily interested in the number of days that you are technically considered “alive?” Fitness may be of only moderate concern. Are you interested in what you’re able to do during those days? Fitness just got a whole lot more significant. Concerned with getting the most out of your existence? The consequences just got greater.

In my mind, fitness is a high-consequence affair. Neglecting fitness means accepting mediocrity. Ignoring fitness means welcoming defeat for my physical self. And for me, this is unacceptable.
This presence of consequences is at the heart of motivation. Consequences demand excellence. The trick is seeing the consequences that may not make themselves so readily visible. Life is full of rewards and full of consequences, and generally, the relation between the two is strong. Consequences are a high-value tool for excellence -- find them and learn from them.

- Preston Sprimont


12/20/16

  • “Baseline”

    • 500m row

    • 40 squats

    • 30 sit-ups

    • 20 hand release push-ups

    • 10 pull-ups

  • Overhead squat - work up to 1rm