It is a beautiful day. As I write this, I'm sitting in a park in Toronto in early September 2016, and it's hot. The sun beats down tenaciously as if to say "sure the kids are back in school, but it's still summer."
It will set soon enough though, earlier than I expect, and the warm rays will be replaced with a light chill that reminds me that Autumn is on its way, with Old Man Winter in hot pursuit. Cold pursuit? You know, pursuit.
At this time of year it's easy to feel the seasons changing, but the reality is that the change is always happening, no matter where we are on the calendar. The sun sets a little earlier, or a little later. The temperature changes, snow or rain starts to fall, but at all times this transition between seasons is happening.
The same thing takes place within ourselves. Even when we don't notice it, we are moving towards being more or less fit, losing or gaining weight, getting stronger or losing strength. Our discipline comes and goes, our resolve to follow meal plans and a proper diet ebbs and flows. We are more or less stressed out than we were yesterday, or more or less happy with how we look and feel.
If you have spent any time on Instagram looking at fitness-related posts, you have seen people who look impossibly fit doing things that look impossible. You may have even thought, "well they look so amazing, but I'll never get there."
It is important to remember that "There" isn't a real place. As you reach one goal, your goals change. I can almost guarantee that if you reach out to one of the people I'm talking about, they would tell you that they are working towards something, or are trying to make changes in certain areas, or have someone else they idolize. They are in transition just like you, just like me, just like all of us. It may even be a calculated transition, as in the case of an actor who times their diet and exercise regimen to have their body look a certain way on the day of a shoot and are about to start increasing body fat percentage because they are a real person with a life off-camera.
I've written about this at length, but almost all changes are gradual, even when we don't want them to be. If the temperature dropped 30 degrees overnight, the trees would need some time to change the colour of their leaves before dropping them. This is how our minds and bodies work as well. You can decide that today is the day you lose 15 lbs and throw out all of your junk food, but it will take some time for this to register and to become the new normal.
"But I'm stuck in a rut, this doesn't apply to me." Except that you're reading a blog on a personal training website, so something is going on. And if I'm wrong, and you are truly stuck in a rut and not willing/interested in changing anything? Well Father Time doesn't really care about that, and is ticking off the days anyway. That is one transition you don't get to control.
We are all moving towards something, and I feel empowered with the realization that I can influence the direction of my transition. While "There" doesn't exist, we are simultaneously on our way somewhere else and exactly where our path has lead us. Enjoy the transition and take charge of its direction.
Ryan Casselman is a personal trainer, musician, and the founder of Real Trainers. Stay tuned as he finds out what he's going to write about each week or so!