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Coming up short, but staying the course…

When it comes to keeping your bearings straight, and keeping your lifestyle heading in the right direction, two of your most important weapons are fortitude and consistency:

FORTITUDE-strength of mind that enables a person to encounter danger or bear pain or adversity with courage.


I had a personal, significant emotional event that led me to write this posting. A couple weeks ago I completed my 6th 26.2 mile marathon. I had spent the prior 4-6 months training for that day and had dealt with significant adversity just getting to the starting line healthy. My 3rd child, Michael Ellison, was born in May and had a health scare during his first week of life that put all other things on hold for a month or so. By the grace of God, Michael has done well and our family has been blessed to hopefully put that chapter behind us. During the same time I dealt with some health issues that affected my training off and on. I was confident that my mental and physical strength, as well as my experience in these long races, would still allow me to set a Personal Record (PR) for the marathon. A few weeks before the race I had tied a PR for the 1/2 marathon so I liked my odds to do the same for the full 26.2. However, around mile 3 of the race I started feeling bad. Not sure if was something I ate, the combination of hills and wind from the outer bands of hurricane Sandy, or other, but I was struggling to maintain my goal pace early in the race. At that point, I felt like it would be a miracle if I would even complete the race at all. I began walking a little at the mile 3 water station and had a conversation with myself. I was like, “Self, you can stop now, you can do or die to get your PR, or you can slow it down and try to fight through the issues and finish.” It was a harder decision then, than it is now but I went with the no brainer to slow it down and try to finish. I amended my goal and was able to push through the early wall and finish within 2 minutes of my PR.

CONSISTENCY-steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, etc.: There is consistency in his pattern of behavior.

When it comes to exercise, as well as nutrition, consistency is a MUST. I am going to be simple and concise on this one so it’s not more overwhelming than it needs to be. Do at least 30 minutes of strenuous physical activity (strength, cardio, sports, other) MOST days of the week…4 is good but 5-6 is better! Eat well MOST days of the week…4-5 is OK but for this one 7 is best! Think about it in legal terms…if a prosecutor was trying to convict you of having a healthy lifestyle with your compass pointed in the right direction down the paths of consistency in exercise and nutrition, would you be found GUILTY on all counts?

In summary, fitness goals great and small require FORTITUDE to see them through to completion but don’t get discouraged when you have to modify the plan in order to stay the course and live to fight on another day! Consistency is the lifeblood of a healthy lifestyle…you don’t have to be perfect 100% of the time, but do enough to “get convicted” of being on the right path and have CONVICTION that your end state will be more than worth the trial to get you there!


TRAIN or DIE!….Chris

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