Years versus decades

A common fitness story: On January 1st, Lydia and Randy decide they’ve spent a great deal of their post-college decade reclining on the couch. They make a pact to transform their bodies over the course of the year. Lydia decides to run at least one mile every day. Randy, aspiring meathead, joins a gym and practices Olympic lifts six days a week.

Three months in, they’ve each shed 10% of their body weight and have more energy than they did in college.

Six months in, Lydia signs up for her first marathon. Randy decides to compete in a local lifting meet at the end of the year.

On July 28th, at precisely 7:42PM, Lydia rounds the bend of her tenth mile of the day, and feels a pop in her left knee. She knows immediately: busted MCL. Unable to put any weight on her knee, she calls Randy and asks him to drive her home. He rushes to the driveway, throws the car door open, and tears his rotator cuff.

In fitness, we tend to celebrate strength and intensity over flexibility. We train to become exceptional in one plane of motion, and subsequently leave ourselves vulnerable to the slight dips, the unseen potholes, the inane chaos of daily life.

So it goes in every domain:

In business, art, love, and running, we find that the strongest and fastest perform for years; the most flexible, decades.