The Little Choices We Make

My wife and I recently completed our tax returns, and we're receiving a fair amount back this year (cue small fist bump to myself). Given that we've needed a new couch for quite some time now, we decided to use some of the money to pick up one of those bad boys. Along with this, we still had plenty to put away in our savings account. Sweet. Awesome. However, I told Kelsey I thought it might be cool to pick up a few other things. You know, manly things. Stuff like a new sledgehammer, a tank, flat screen TV, or some Lord of the Rings action figures.

To which she promptly responded, "Yeah, we could. But before we know it we won't have anything to put away away in savings. It's the little decisions we make that add up over the long haul."

This got me thinking: The exact same applies principle to the realm of physical preparation. It's the little things we do that add up to either long-term success or failure.

Back when I was personal training, I worked with a guy who had developed some pretty severe shoulder and elbow pain. You wanna know the root cause? Hours and hours of driving and talking on the phone! His job required constant travel and phone communication. Yes....days spent simply with his head tilted to one side (to hold the phone in place) while driving resulted in some pretty intense inflammation of the tendons surrounding the shoulder and elbow joints. This is the law of repetitive motion at its finest.

Whether we're a competitive athlete or one who simply wants to be able to enjoy physical activity all the way through old age, it's the little things that will allow us to excel.

  • Using a time-out app to keep us out of crappy positioning at our computers.
  • Giving our soft tissue some TLC each day, be through a PVC roller or manual therapist.
  • Spending at least five to ten minutes to warm-up before each workout to unglue our nasty bits and preserve proper ROM throughout our joints.
  • Bringing a power-packed smoothie to work so we can avoid the lure of that M&M bowl next to the printer.

  • Executing everything in the gym with focus and drive, be it a deadlift or a proper pushup.
  • Adding more pulling to our programs.
  • Packing and getting everything together a week out from a competition to get our minds in the zone before our competitors.

You get the idea. Think about the little decisions you make on an minute-by-minute basis. They add up to something big - be it good or bad - over the long run.