Today I’m celebrating four weeks of going to the gym every weekday. As part of the Eric-vs-Mak competition, I needed to address my wildly inconsistent and intermittent fitness routine. I started the traditional way, by procrastinating for three months, going to the gym less than once a week on average from September through November. In late November, I had a minor outpatient day surgery that resulted in a sutured incision on my chest and orders to avoid heavy lifting. I asked the surgeon how long I should wait before doing bench presses – I always favour clear and specific examples when seeking medical advice – and was told “four weeks”. Naturally, I procrastinated for another week, not willing to break my streak yet.

There are less than 200 metres (656 feet) between the door to my house and the door to my gym, it’s literally a three minute walk. I still had trouble finding the motivation. The following rules got me to this point:

  1. Go every weekday the gym is open
  2. Be there when they unlock the door (0600h)
  3. Do at least one exercise of any duration

Some days I showed up and walked slowly on a treadmill for 20 minutes and then went home. Some days I ran a few miles or cycled several miles. In the last week I half-resumed previous free weight exercise routines. What I’ve been tackling was my adherence to an exercise schedule. What I do doesn’t matter yet, but it will next week. I can now plan an exercise routine with the confidence that I’ll be in the place I need to be to perform the routine.