Are you a “Punch and Judy”?
Tomorrow is opening day for Major League Baseball. I don’t watch much baseball, but opening day always reminds me of my baseball glory days.
Circa early 90’s I was a good high school baseball player. I was the starting varsity center fielder and lead off batter all four years at Ely High(we were really bad when I was a freshman). But, came one game away from state finals my junior year.
My job as a lead off batter was to get on base. I was fast, had a good eye for balls and strikes, made good contact with the ball and rarely struck out. In the baseball world I was known as a “Punch and Judy.” A slap hitter. A person that hits a lot of singles and doubles, but not many home runs. I actually only hit two home runs my entire life during an official game. One during a little league All-Star game (game-winning home run, thank you very much) and one against a neighboring rival in high school. You remember these things when there are so few.
Become a fitness Punch n’ Judy
We all love the home run. In fitness the home run would be a new personal record in a lift, your fastest time in a run, or dropping a dress size. Home runs are great, but you can’t always swing for the fences.
Long-term fitness is mostly about hitting singles. When you are putting good wood on the ball, hitting singles the home runs will come. Good wood refers to making solid contact on the ball with the sweet part of the bat.
- Getting to the gym 3-4 times a week is hitting a single.
- Drinking a recovery protein shake after your training session is a single.
- Eating until you’re 80% full is a single.
- If you are a runner you have to log the miles. Just because a half marathon is 13.1 miles doesn’t mean you always run that distance. A single would be getting out and crushing those 3 mile runs, paying attention to your gait and journaling what pre-run meal provided sustainable energy.
- Eating a gram of protein per pound of lean body mass daily is hitting a single.
- Working on a weakness is a single.
- Eating three servings of colorful vegetables each day is a single
- Low to moderate intensity walks, bike rides or rowing sessions are singles.
- Meal planning and shopping are singles.
- Getting a good night’s sleep is a single.
Your fitness home run is your ultimate reward. Your home run is a byproduct of consistent quality work and repetition. Day in and day out you have to hit the singles. You have to focus on the little things and the big things will happen.
Make a list of “singles” that you need to hit daily to get you closer to your goal. Also make a list of things that you need to avoid to keep you from slipping further away from your goal. We can only move in two directions. We always want to be taking more steps forward than backwards. It’s called progress.
And we don’t make any progress when you are riding the pine. Riding the pine refers to someone sitting on the bench not getting any playing time.
It’s time to get off the bench.