Once you find yourself diagnosed with a case of tendinosis, you’re committed to a rehab program for life. Even after you finish your stint of physical therapy, you’re not fully healed. Think of tendinopathy as a line on a graph. The line may rise above or fall below the threshold of pain depending on how you course correct. But the site of weakness and vulnerability remains. Your rehab (and improvements to form) must become part of your routine, forever.
As you get older, this same principle applies to fitness generally. Take off a week and when you return it feels like a month. Take off a month and it feels like a year. Although your body recovers from the gym more slowly, you can’t shut it down for long. You must keep going, forever.
In the past, I always used business trips as a chance to rest. I don’t travel often, hotel facilities are subpar, and I’m focusing my energy elsewhere. Nevertheless, when I took a trip last week to Las Vegas for a convention, I decided to throw together a couple workouts in the hotel gym. I now strive to minimize downtime, forever.
When I’m at home on the East Coast, I always go to the gym in the early morning; working out in a crowded gym is impossible. In Las Vegas, with my body still on Eastern Time, I breezed through the doors of the cardio center at 3 am. I expected to be alone. However, the gym (as it was) was packed. Everyone else on East Coast time also woke up in the middle of the night, and with nothing to do, decided to come downstairs. On the one hand, I found it refreshing to be surrounded by a couple dozen people who care about staying fit. On the other hand, I learned something about travel to Vegas — I’m now obligated to stumble over and through a crowded gym, forever.