I am always amazed at the power of inertia. This is the principle in physics that says that an object at rest tends to stay at rest, and an object in motion tends to stay in motion. This is typically described in a physics classroom through the momentum of a moving object, or friction and resistance foiling your attempts to move that solid block sitting on the table.
In life, inertia rears its head in many ways. Take work. If you have ever been at work, and ‘in a groove’, and decided to work through lunch or dinner, and end up totally late for wherever you are going, that is inertia. Conversely, if you have ever procrastinated through a morning, and looked at a clock and thought, “gee its just a half hour until lunchtime, wouldn’t want to start anything too challenging” that is the ugly other side of the inertia pillow.
Nutrition and health is the same thing – if I am eating well and exercising, regularly grabbing a salad for lunch instead of pizza, and running in the mornings, it is easy to turn down the temptation of the cookie at the Starbucks counter. Gotta keep the healthy momentum. But if I have had a binge-y weekend full of nachos and french fries, then why not have the chocolate lava cake for dessert? Inertia is behind the classic ‘I’ll start my diet tomorrow’ phenomenon.
This project has been chock full of inertia. After a gangbuster start, I lapsed, and only recently came out of it. Here are my Runkeeper running totals since I started tracking in November:
After several months of solid running – in the winter no less! – I fell off the map in March thru May. Yeah, there were excuses – re-organization at work, two new bosses, lots of meetings, coaching Little League games – all of these were *valid* excuses, but the real culprit was inertia. Once a week or two goes by without running, I know that morning run will be less easy. It will be harder to get up, I’ll get tired quicker, and oh, its kind of cold out so I’ll just stay in bed!
Now that I have started again, the inertia works in the other direction. When the early alarm goes off I want to get up and going – especially if I didnt run for a day or two, I miss it, like withdrawl. A day without any exercise and I am drowsy and grumpy by 3PM.
Anyway, inertia hits the blogger too, since apparently I have not posted anything in months, since before my dark period. So, hopefully this post is the breakthrough…I’ve got lots to update on…some things have worked and some have not so well, and I am due for an update on my data. Stay tuned.