The man in the mirror

IMG_8448Some of us who run, ride and swim are a bit narcissistic. We look at ourselves in every reflection we can find. I know I do.

But sometimes the things we see don’t entirely please us. This is especially true in the chill of a long winter, following the holidays, when fat rules the middle and our profiles aren’t everything we’d like them to be.

I was running on the treadmill at XSport yesterday and realized there was a clear view of my form in the mirror on the other side of the gym. I looked at my running form and it was not bad. 40 years in the saddle have taught me how to run pretty efficiently.

But I looked, thick. And slow. Of course some of that is intentional. I’ve done the whole sprint on the treadmill thing and there aren’t really many benefits to that if you’re simply trying to burn calories and work up a sweat. Or the other way around.

Still, my inner critical side took a look at the guy in the orange shirt, gray Under Armor shorts and flashy Saucony Triumph shoes and said, “You’re too fat and slow.”

You might want to throw “looking old” in there too. If you’re particularly cruel. We’re all rather cruel to ourselves in the near term.

1978to2013The trick is in having the vision to be kind to ourselves in the long term. Don’t lose faith in the fitness process. Sure, there are a few extra pounds hanging around in spots where clothes get tight and middles look thick. But take the long view. It’s going to go away.

It has before, and it will again.

As for me, I want to dig up that blank journal I found while cleaning up the house. It’s begging for notes about workouts and progress. That’s the way that I find motivation. Words and charts and personal exhortations.

It’s not about resolutions. It’s about being resolute. And happy for it.

The man in the mirror is me. But not me in any sort of final form. We’re always a work in progress, with emphasis on the word “work.” There’s no way around it. You have to work on yourself every day. In every day. In fitness. In personal endeavors. In your occupation. It also helps to work for others. Take you out of yourself. You’ll be surprised how much that helps your vision in life.

Then you’ll like whatever it is that you see in the mirror. Because you’ll with the right kind of pride, you’re working on it.


About Christopher Cudworth

Christopher Cudworth is a content producer, writer and blogger with more than 25 years’ experience in B2B and B2C marketing, journalism, public relations and social media. Connect with Christopher on Twitter: @genesisfix07 and blogs at, and Online portfolio:
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