Monday, August 15, 2011


It’s 6 AM.

You drag yourself out of bed, get dressed, stretch, then you head down to the basement where you pop a workout CD into the player and begin “Sweatin’ To The Moldies”.

After about 7 minutes you can’t breath anymore, your head is spinning, and you start praying that a mad gunman escapes from prison, and miraculously breaks in and puts you out of your misery. You just can’t take it anymore.

So, you get up and fast forward the CD ahead five minutes.  Then another 5.  Then another 10.  When you get to the 2-minute “Water Break” part of the work out you push play again and drink water along with the instructor on the CD. Then you skip ahead another 5 minutes, and WATCH the CD for next 10 minutes. 

When the instructor says, “OK, this is the last 5 minutes, let’s finish up strong,” you somehow work up the strength to squeeze out a final 5 measly minutes PLUS do the “Cool Down” period where you basically lay on the floor.  Then you turn off the player and head back up stairs for breakfast and a shower.

The next day you do the same thing.  And then the next day.  And then the next.  By the end of the week you have gained 6 pounds.

Not the FASTEST way to get in shape but with can be hugely successful.  Behold the power of the Puny Victory.

The  power of the Puny Victory strings together puny, measly victories that impress no one until they start to show results. They are like termites.  Slow, steady progress.  String enough Puny Victories together and guess what happens?

By the NEXT week you stay at it for 15 minutes before you skip the CD forward.  Then 20.  Then 25.  Before long you are finishing the whole work out like a champ. 

The key is in the coming back, in just doing what you can that day and then coming back.  Always coming back.

Only did half the work out today?  OK.  That was better than yesterday’s NO workout.  So do half a work out today, and half of one tomorrow plus a minute more.  Make a better choice at lunch than you made at breakfast.  Paint another picture, write another poem, no matter what anybody said or didn’t say.  Let your goal be in the coming back, and back, and back.

And then come back tomorrow and do it again.

Because Puny Victories can get big.  REAL big.

I should be in shape by the time I’m 73.

As together we stand and sing.