The Idiocy of Extremes!

Today I was working with a lady who has been a coaching client for about five months.  We are currently working on three things—her career, her spiritual life, and her physical fitness.

Over the months, she’s made huge strides in all three areas.  She’ll be the first to tell you that she’s basically becoming a new person!

Anyway, we were talking about how when you “track” things, you tend to do them more.

Years ago, I developed an Excel spreadsheet that I use to track exercise, and several other things that I want to see happen in my life.  It’s a great tool!  You can actually look at the whole year on the screen and see what you’ve done!  (If you want me to send you a copy of this, just send me an email at and I’ll forward you one that you can start using today!)

As we talked, I was reminded of something that I did a couple of years ago that was STUPID!!! 

I’ve always liked extremes.  I don’t know why.  Crazy goals, extreme weather (Example: I like Fairbanks, AK in January—no kidding!).  Things like that.

A couple of years ago, on a January 1st, I decided to see if I could exercise everyday for six months.  Ever since I was in elementary school, I’ve been an avid physical fitness person, never missing more than two weeks or so without exercising.  The times I did miss were only on the occasions when I would come down with the flu or the one time I blew my knee out.

Anyway, I started this goal.  It wasn’t as hard as you might think.  I tracked it and enjoyed checking off the boxes each day.

Around the first week of May, I was travelling on a Sunday.  I’d gone to church that morning, and then driven down to the airport to catch the first of two flights I’d have to take that day.  In all honesty, I don’t remember where I was going, only that it was a city in the Midwest.  So picture St. Louis, or Cincinnati, or some place like that.

That day there was plenty of bad weather, so both of my flights were delayed.  I finally arrived at my destination city around 11:00 p.m., grabbed my bags, and picked up my rental car.  I left the airport around 11:30 and started towards my hotel, which was across town.

The highway was pretty empty at that hour on a Sunday night.  I was driving along and then suddenly realized that I’d not exercised that day.  By now it was 11:45.  I was passing through a “not so nice” area of town.

My first thought was, “Well, nobody will know.  It’s drizzling outside.  Don’t worry about it.”

That lasted all of about 15 seconds.  I’ll know!  This ain’t about anybody else, this is about me.  The goal is six months.  You gotta exercise!”

So I pulled off the first ramp that I got to and found myself in a very dilapidated, industrial part of town.  There were all the eerie, abandoned factories with absolutely no lights on at all.  But the streetlights were glowing off of the low hanging clouds, so I could see pretty well.

The area looked dangerous!

I drove about a mile, and saw no place that looked like a good place to stop.  There were a few ramshackle homes interspersed between the factories.  I was really thinking that this would be a great place for the “Bloods” or the “Cripps” to wait for some unsuspecting idiot who was exercising at midnight!

I looked at the clock and it was 11:53.  I better do something in the next seven minutes or I wouldn’t accomplish the goal.

I pulled down a driveway between two huge factories.  Most of the windows were broken out and there were no lights at all.

I’m going to die!!!!!!!!

I stopped the car, put it in park, left the lights on, jumped out, and ran to the front of the car.  The driveway was full of potholes and puddles.  I found a place between two potholes and ripped off 100 pushups.  The whole time I’m thinking that there’s a group of addicts, pimps, or monsters in the factories looking at me just drooling over how good my meat’s going to taste.

As soon as I hit 100, I jumped up, sprinted to my car, locked the doors, and screeched out of there.  I was breathing hard; not just from the exercise, but from the adrenaline rush I’d gotten.  My clothes and shoes were soaked but I was safe.

So what’s the morale of the story?  Heck if I know.  (I’m laughing pretty hard right now as I write this…”)

I guess it’s that you shouldn’t set extreme goals.  “Everything in moderation,” or it might cost you your life…

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