Beach Tides: a Reflection on Fitness

My sister and I had gone to the beach and had a fun time with my son and his buddy. When we got there we saw that the tide was way out – far out on the flat sandy shore. Was the tide still going out? Was it coming back in? We guessed what it might be doing and just went on with our fun – swimming in the refreshing waves, making drip castles, digging holes in the sand, having lunch. Nice time in the sun and water. We don’t check the time when we’re on the beach having a good time – no need when you’re on beach time!

Time did pass – we even took a long walk down the beach, exploring tide pools and rocks and more swimming in the waves. We made it back to our spot on the beach after our walk of a mile or so down the beach and back. I looked out at the water and noticed, surprisingly, the tide was still out – – I had thought it had been on its way back in up towards high tide, but apparently when we got to the beach earlier in the day it must have been making its way out still, even though it looked like it was out far enough. The waves come in one after the other and in that continuous flow the tide somehow gets lower and lower until it then makes its way back towards high tide, wave after wave after wave. I suppose those waves after waves make the changing of the tides not so obvious.

And it was then that I noticed an insight – regarding the waves and the flow of the tides – to health and fitness (well, these two things are big on my mind most often all the time!). The extremes of the tides change in the subtlest way, despite the fact that the waves crest and push into shore so much more often – – and it was this fact that reminded me of how fitness can be similar, as well as weight loss goals or any other goal for that matter. Though we commit to regular, daily workouts or better eating choices at every meal for an ultimate goal of better health, the changes can be so subtle – so much so that it seems nothing is changing – just like the subtle changing of the tides – that time in between – from one extreme (low) to the other (high). Fitness and weight loss – the changes can be so subtle in between the time we make big changes and efforts to the time when our ultiimate goal is reached (often months and months later). The ultimate change will happen with consistency (one wave after the other, one workout, one nutritious meal after the other).

It also made me more hopeful of all the efforts I’ve been putting in to my fitness goals. Hey, the small waves keep coming and going and eventually create a change in the tides – I am doing the same; faith in the process! I’ve been working on a regular schedule of daily workout routines with 1 rest day each week and have been challenged quite a bit with my ability to push harder than I’d like. It can be tough, especially mentally, to stick with the effort needed to push it to get to where I want to go. It’s not going to happen with one workout or one week or even one 90 day round! It will happen with consistency of effort and I must say that I can truly say with the invested time I’ve done thus far (at the time of this writing I was almost through 1 round of Insanity – 60 days) I can say with certainty I’m seeing some changes – though I’ve often doubted it was happening up to this point. But with this gift from the sea – gift of the waves, I can see subtle changes was something I needed to learn to see. Thanks, beach!!!


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