If at first, you don’t succeed . . .

At my age, trying to become as fit and healthy as you can has some definite challenges. As I stated earlier medical science tells us that the human body has a built-in system for keeping all functions stable. The nervous and endocrine systems exert the ultimate control over homeostasis because they coordinate the functions of the body's systems. Regulation of body temperature, blood pressure, pH, and glucose concentration are four examples of how the body maintains homeostasis, this process is critical for survival. As I began resistance training, my body was new to the stress and coordination to complete exercises. The plus is that using muscles to stabilize and move weight triggered neuro connections between my brain and muscle tissue resulting in immediate results in gaining strength and conditioning that progressed rapidly. The downside, my body would normalize to the new stresses and stop adapting to the stress. Over time my body and emotional brain continue to fight for control. To keep adapting the body needs constant increasing stress (more weight – more reps) and the body response is uncomfortable and sometimes even painful. The continuing struggle for the brain recognizing and resisting pain and conversely the body requiring increased stress to grow never ends. One week you’re Hercules the next a broken body in pain. This is where tenacity is critical, as a survival machine you must overcome the discomforts and setbacks using the “fear” that drives you (death, loss of mobility, failure, shortened lifespan, etc.) to truly achieve your goals.

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” ― Robert F. Kennedy

Always remember, that setbacks are not failures but learning tools. I have read countless articles on training techniques and found they all work for a while. Once my body adapts, I begin to experience the dreaded plateau, instead of being defeated I will start over again with a new technique or program to continue with the process of growing.

Unfortunately, this process is never ending, but I guarantee you won’t get bored. Life is about living and that involves adaptation and change. Ironically, the only constant in life that we have is change, the human body is genetically coded to stay in the same state or stasis. The challenges in life can stimulate you to adapt just as weight training does, leading to new and rewarding discoveries about yourself. If I can continue to grow through my ups and downs, believe me anyone can.

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