Sometimes moderation is a bad counselor. —Fausto Cercignani
In yesterday’s entry, we talked about moderation being a good thing. Today we’ll approach the topic from a different perspective.
Some people use moderation as an excuse to not do their best, often mistaking mediocrity for moderation.
“Let’s call it a day. I’ve already worked five minutes more than yesterday. You gotta stay in balance.”
“Let’s stick with the same weight for the next five workouts, even though I can easily lift it. Moderation is key.”
“I’ve already gone down two sizes. I guess I’m still a bit overweight, but let’s not forget that going to the extreme is a bad thing.”
If you use moderation as an excuse not to push your limits, you’re mistaking moderation with mediocrity. If you’re trying to lift a weight that you can barely lift off the floor, some moderation will be good for you.If you’re lifting it like it’s a feather and telling yourself you’re still doing great because at least you’re exercising, you’re letting mediocrity limit your growth.
Sticking to easy things that are well within your grasp isn’t moderation .
Equating mediocrity with moderation largely comes down to having low standards. A person who thinks that exercising once a week is incredible because most of his friends only exercise with a TV remote will most likely stop challenging themselves well before it would be wise to remember about moderation.
That’s not to say that you should compare yourself to other people; compare yourself to yourself from the past. If today (a year since you started to exercise) you’re still performing the same exercises with little to no improvement, perhaps you’ve confused moderation with self congratulation.
Moreover (as we’ve already covered when talking about moderation as a good thing), you should also apply moderation to moderation itself.