These days, with people buying on leases and trading their cars in every so many years because they are bored with what they have, maybe this isnt a big milestone for many anymore. But I finally have a car that made it to the 200,000 mile mark this weekend. Of all cars, it is a 1992 Honda Accord that was a rebuilt salvage bought for $4k in 2003 with 110k miles on it. It was intended to get me through ‘a few years’ and of course it gets to a point where I would have to pay someone to take it off my hands so I keep it.
As the odometer creeps towards this mark, I think back to why the other cars didnt make it, and for some reason it pops into my head the correlation to the people I train ( and don’t train) and why they don’t achieve the goals set out for themselves and come to me for help. Just like the cars, their bodies slowly deteriorate over a time frame that quickly surpasses many years until the one day something ‘breaks down’ and they realize only then where they have let themselves get. Some will stay in denial even longer until the oil really starts leaking, it takes a few extra cranks to get started, a little more squeaking in the joints, and gas mileage that starts to really tank.
Then, usually due to some significant event, a trip, holiday, significant other’s (polite) comments, a child’s innocent observation (Daddy, that man is going to have a baby huh?) The person comes in for a little help.” Set me up on a program”. I proceed to start them on some basic body weight movement patterns when they realize how bad it has really gotten. Anyone that drives a fairly old car then gets a rental, knows the feeling.
So what happened to the cars? Over the last umm 25 yrs or so I have gone through a few cars ( and one motorcycle). They each died or were gone prior to this 200k mark. I went from a POS Volkswagon Beetle( not sure, I think Dad’s car so technically not sure on its demise), a Chevy Nova ( with the non muscle car soft top) was sold for $100 bucks with a crunched left fender ( results of the 3rd ‘falling asleep at the wheel’ wreck) mileage 140k. Next was a 1980 RX-7, my favorite. Bought at 110k, quit changing the oil regularly at about 160k, it blew a rotor on a trip to Colorado Springs 1 month after buying new tires. Again, sold for $100 for someone to take it off my hands. He said he was surprised I got 190k out if that year…hmm if I had taken care of it who knows?
Next was the Subaru Wagon. Everyone said people are loyal to their Subaru. Well, again, bought for $2k and lasted 3 years through many a race seasons. The nail in the coffin, driving it to Seattle for Nationals and on the way home spending close to 5 hours with the gas pedal floored going through Wyoming and Montana seeing what kind of “avg speed’ we could get the digital odometer to read. 2 months later cracked head in Topeka gets a tow home, trade it in for ..
A brand new Nissan Altima. Now this was really nice for having only used cars my whole life. Problem, first leased vehicle. Not good for a bike racer. 60k miles in 3 years was close to double the ‘allowable miles. They play games with letting me buy it outright at the end of the lease, it gets repo’d in the process, and a bill for $7,000 for overmileage shows up and I say “whatever” and never call me again on it. Now I can never buy a Nissan again for fear of them trying to get it out of me.
So with crummy credit I get into an old Isuzu Trooper. Fun to drive, great with the dogs and lake trips, 4 wheel drive STICK shift. This worked great until the family started to grow and the mini van was imminent and it was approaching the 200 k mark. Before it could hit it there was a knock on the door as it sat waiting for brakes and a clutch in the driveway. SOLD for $500 to some guy that drives around looking to take cars off people’s hands, I’m sure to just take on down to Mexico.
Which leaves me with the final and current car ( other than the mini van that is the primary car for the family) A ’92 Honda Accord. A rebuilt salvage that has lasted way longer than I thought it would. Yes, it is starting to look like it has a skin condition, but this time around I have been changing the oil like you are supposed to. So, as long as the engine keeps going, I’ll be driving it.
The problem is with people, the money is spent on making the body look like it is running good, while the insides, the engine, is slowly deteriorating. So the car then, it is called a ‘great car’ until something goes wrong, then it’s ” what a piece of S—!, I need to get rid of this! “ But we can’t just get rid of the body. Can’t just take it in for someone else to fix, though they try going to the poor DR. who just figures the person isnt going to do it themselves, so let’s give em a little something to prolong the deterioration. They themselves buy into the hopelessness generally felt that things can’t be changed, it is part of life. Well, not the lives of people who take charge to change it. It takes our own effort, our own time, our own responsibility, to fix it.
Granted it isnt always going to be pretty getting going again. But consistency wins out and there are just too many resources available to succeed. Granted, there are many variables to the process, and just as there is a need for someone to do your taxes, you don’t know what you don’t know about the process, until someone enlightens you! So many times I come across people who have a few of the components right, but stop there and accept the lack of results on ‘genetics’
Granted, genetics have some play, but not nearly as much as people, including many trainers themselves, should be giving them. The key is learning those primary variables…and then the sub variables within those, and what to do about it.
Some of these are of course the usual and obvious:
Caloric intake/ or lack there of and
Activity Level/ Too much ( yes) or too little
Some not so obvious:
Innate body awareness- how connected are you to your body
Rates of Perceived Exertion (RPE)- are you accurately applying this? OF course you’ll say yes, until someone shows you a true “10″
What is your relationship with food? Positive or negative?
Hormones- this is coming more into the mainstream, but still, does that mean you understand it beyond the last article in the magazine you read?
Your Foundation- what has taken years to build ( or slowly destroy) yourself on the cellular level? Life
Honesty- self-reflection. Are you really doing everything you need to be doing…honestly…