posted on August 31, 2023
Everyone say it together:
F*** the lantern flies.
They’re invasive. They’re irritating. They’re inconvenient.
That said, I have to give them credit for one thing: they’re consistent. They show up every day to band together and put in the work. Their work might be driving us all insane, but that instinctive drive is pretty irrepressible.
I do not have that drive when it comes to fitness.
Lifting is a hobby. I enjoy it as a healthy form of stress relief and because it’s a nice contrast from my more cerebral day-to-day activities (my alter-ego is as professional nerd — I attend concerts and write about classical music as critic for the Post-Gazette and a few national publications), but I didn’t grow up working out or particularly athletic. Shocker, I’m sure.
After a few years of intermittent lifting after college, I tweaked my back on a squat and scared myself into trying a class at Union to work with some coaches to get some advice on technique. I wound up finding an atmosphere with all the right ingredients: a regular group of lifters who are a bit competitive, quite community-minded, and above all, highly consistent.
It’s been a pleasure getting to know classmates and coaches alike, and on the days I pop in to the main gym I’ve never interacted with a friendlier group of gymgoers. In the two-plus years I’ve been coming, I haven’t relapsed or hurt my back once, and thanks to a less scattershot program I’ve seen some real progress in my technique. But, most importantly, it’s become a more integral part of my daily routine than ever before, and slow, steady progress beats intense unsustainable change any day of the week.
I may not have perfect technique, and I’m certainly not pushing the most weight, but I come back for the hit of satisfaction I receive from knowing that this gym has helped self-improvement become a larger feature of my life.
So, my fellow UF attendees, take my word for it: regularity will trump intermittent effort in the long run.
So be regular. Be consistent. Be (sorry) lantern flies.
Just watch out for the vacuum cleaner. : )