The Routine is the Route
My wife believes I’m just a little obsessive. I plan my training cycles in advance. I track them religiously. I make nutrition plans and follow them. I track them religiously as well. I get up at the same time every morning, I work out at the same time, and I go to bed at the same time every night. Yes, there is some variation but the consistency is always there.
“Your father,” she says to the girls, “is a creature of habit.”
That is not incorrect, but it is not really the point. I am a creature of routine. I don’t like surprises. I like the predictability. I like to know where I’m going and how I’m going to get there.
In other words, I like to know the path.
The word routine is from the French for road, “route,” and to be routine is to be “of the road.” It is the beaten path, and it is the usual course.
That does not mean, though, that you follow the well-trod path that everyone else has. Goodness knows that the road that goes to bed at 9:30 p.m. and arises at 4:30 a.m. is not the well worn path most people, even most athletes, take. That’s my path, my route. To do it consistently every day means that my routine guarantees 7 hours of sleep, a consistent morning training time that works for me, and evenly spaced meals that are consistent with those beginning, ending, and training times.
It works for me. It won’t work for most people. That’s why it is my routine and not theirs.
The point is not to follow my routine, or anyone else’s for that matter. The point is to locate your own routine and stick to it.
If you don’t know where you’re going, any path will take you there. But if you have a destination in mind, you need a routine.