When I was about 9 years old, living in Hawaii, I remember there being this huge hill that led to the street on which our home lied. Actually, it probably wasn’t very long, maybe half a block, nor very steep. But to a kid on his bike, with small, skinny legs, it seems like Mount Everest.
However big it was, I learned quickly that I had to build up momentum to get up it. Leading up to the hill was a long enough stretch for me to peddle fast as to make the hill manageable. It took nearly all of my effort, no matter how long I played with my friends before coming home or how tired I was. I also discovered, the hard way that, as challenging as it was to muster up the intensity necessary to traverse this hill, it was ten times worse to have to walk my bike up it.
So, what’s the point?
We need to speed up so we can get over the hill.
What’s the hill? Q4 is the hill. The fourth quarter of the year.
You see, I like to find different ways to look at fitness and health. I try to create anecdotes, stories, and analogies to help explain what I see. I like to create rules and guidelines that make sense and are easy to follow and adhere to. And one of the things I like to do is break down the year into quarters:
Quarter 1: Jan-Mar
Quarter 2: Apri-June
Quarter 3: July-Sep
Quarter 4: Oct-Dec
Each quarter has its own set of characteristics that require a specific approach, ibut we will focus on Q3, the current quarter as of this writing, and Q4, the one around the corner.
Q4 is the MOST CHALLENGING quarter to stay in shape and maintain your health and fitness program. Let me tell you why:
- Q4 has the most caloric holidays, at least in America. Starting with Halloween, rolling through Thanksgiving, and ending with Christmas and New Year’; more calories are consumed during these holidays than all of the other ones- even including Easter and Valentines Day-combined.
- In Q4, the days begin to shorten, hastened by Daylight Savings. That means getting up to work out before work-when it’s cold and dark- is challenging. That also means that going to work out after work- when it’s cold and dark, is also tough.
- Speaking of cold, Q4 is the coldest quarter of the year. With no incentive to “get your bikini body” and no pressure to wear shorts or tee shirts, it’s easy to cover up like a turtle and hide. In fact, many welcome the opportunity to wear sweaters and big jackets, only partly for fashion reasons.
- Q4 is the last quarter of the year. It’s the closest, obviously, to Q1. Saying I’ll wait to January 1st to start over..when it’s the middle of June..sounds idiotic. When it’s November, it sounds somewhat reasonable. Because of that, people are more likely to postpone pursuit of their new body and lifestyle until the turn of the calendar.
- Q4 for many, including yours truly, is the quarter in which the best sport falls. Football J Whether you agree or not, there is no doubt that football season represents the most caloric of all sports seasons. Unlike with baseball, hockey, and basketball; the 3 other major sports in America, Football Saturdays and Sundays are more like events than games. People gather. People eat. And people consume alcoholic beverages. And if that’s not enough, Monday Night Football offers one more chance to increase your waist size.
So what do you do to combat that? That’s where Q3 comes into play. Now Q3, the heart of Summer, has its own challenges. Kids are out of school, then back again. Vacations are taken. And for many, summer is already here, so “it’s too late” to focus on “getting” in shape.
But that’s exactly what you have to do if you have ANY chance at surviving Q4. You have to build momentum. You have to solidify a plan and commitment to self-improvement. You have to establish habits that will carry through the catalog of excuses- I mean reasons- NOT to get fit.
So start now. Start this week. Start today.
Starting Monday, August 21, there will be 19 scheduled classes (M-W-F) before Q4 begins. That doesn’t include any Saturday Bonus Classes or Private or Semi-Private Workouts you might sign up for.
Commit today to get as many workouts in as you can. Can you get 10, 12, maybe 15? How many amongst you can get 19?!?
I don’t know, but I do know this. If you don’t start peddling as fast as you can…it’s gonna be a bitch waling your bike up that Q4 Hill. I know that!