Holding on

If you go to the gym at all, you probably notice there are a number of people on the treadmills who crank up the incline to the max setting and increase the pace to somewhere around 4 or 5 mph. At the same time, what I’ve noticed is that they all hold on to the treadmill. Why? Because they couldn’t reasonably last with those ridiculous settings without holding on.

Maybe the answer isn’t to set everything to the max settings. If you simply let go of the treadmill, you’d be able to get a much higher quality of workout and the settings can be much lower.

There are a couple of things that happen when you hold on:

  1. The idea of the incline is to add gravity to the mix. If you are stepping up instead of stepping purely out in front of you, you have the added resistance of gravity. By holding on, you’re negating that element of gravity.
  2. If you have the speed cranked up, you can move your legs slower and still achieve the same pace. Why? Because you’re holding on! If you’ve ever been hiking, or even walking down the sidewalk on a steep decline, you probably notice that you can go much faster without moving your legs as fast. That’s gravity again. You’re doing the same thing on the treadmill when you hang on. The ground (or treadmill in this case) is moving much faster below your feet with a reduced amount of effort.

Holding onAs you’ve probably figured out by now, holding on is a metaphor for cheating. People can hold on in work settings and relationships too. Why take the short cut when you know that you can do a better job. Whether you are cheating your work product or the treadmill, let go of the damn thing and do the work that you showed up to do in the first place. If you’re not willing to do that, might as well stay home.

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