Here’s an interesting take on the above saying. Often used to refer to one who is dabbling at making little changes and perhaps focusing on an area of little or no impact, one is said to be ‘playing in the margins’. This needs to be flipped on its head when referring to your training program. Here playing in the margins is important. You don’t turn up and make massive changes overnight. You don’t get heaps stronger all of a sudden and 12kgs doesn’t just fall off (mores the pity). You make small incremental changes, and that’s okay. It’s hard to remember if you’re someone like me who’s a little impatient and often a bit rough on themselves. Now I recently had this explained to me (not for the first time) by Tony who was pulling me up on being too hard on myself or having too high expectations of my training capacity at this stage into the program.
“Sean, it took 12 months to get out of shape, you really think you can get back in shape in 3 weeks?” he says patiently.
“Well…. yeah” says I somewhat unconvincingly, knowing the lesson has just been served and trying to wiggle out of it.
Okay, okay. So I need to manage my expectations. But greatness didn’t settle for some sort of ordinary… did it?
The other area where the saying is relevant is in your food plan. This past week I’ve managed to eat pretty well. Yup. You heard it too right? pretty well. Not perfect. Not excellent. Not completely on plan. Just sorta okay. Now before I turn you off thinking “Nup, I’m not into any form of extreme self sacrifice”, hear me out. I’m on a 4 week fat loss plan. I’ve set an ambitious target and I really want to hit it. I’m not going to do that unless I stick to my food plan. The time for a more relaxed approach to food and alcohol is yet to come. Now is the time for personal discipline and RESULTS!!! Anyway, I digress. The playing in the margins for food IS important. I need to make sure it’s 100%, not 95%. It’s that small, seemingly insignificant difference between the former and the latter, that makes all the difference. At least it does for me.
Now, I’m off to walk the dog. Ciao.