Plateau

October 31, 2016

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They say once you start consistently exercising you reach a point in your progress where, well, there is no progress. Your steady weight loss or muscle gain has suddenly hit a wall and the routines you used to do aren’t working anymore. You’ll step on that scale morning after morning, night after night, hoping that your sore muscles were not in vain. But you’re still very much where you were when you slammed into a halt. Maybe you’ve gone backwards a little, who knows.

I wish someone told me my early 20’s were going to feel like that. I wouldn’t have listened, of course, but just the same it would have been an insightful thing to hear.

I’ve been doing the same thing for almost a year now, just like any other “millennial”, but there just doesn’t seem to be any forward movement, no further ground gained. I have a spreadsheet that would tell me otherwise –a rather telling file that displays the full glory of my Type A personality–and I know the majority of my progress is subtle and their resolutions pending, but I can’t help but feel like most of us are kind of just floating in a sedentary pond…where we will remain for the next 50 years if I’m operating under the assumption that the progress with social security has followed its downward trend and the average retirement age has increased as a result. It’ll be more of the same thing for the next half-century. So we’ll talk about the next big thing on our timeline which 99.99% of us believe is dating and eventually marriage, assuming you get lucky on your first try.

Just ask the next 20-something year old you run into about plans for the future. I guarantee “dating” or “married (with kids)” will be within the first 3 things they list. Because most of us have hit our plateaus.

Perhaps I’m just grumbling and I’m in the minority of young adults who feel this way. It is, I admit, a rather bleak way of looking at things. But it’s hard to see past the wall when you feel like there isn’t anything to look forward to anymore. Even when I get accepted into a program that will be the burst I’ve been working towards but just another incline towards another plateau. Supposing I overcome my wariness of the opposite sex and my general self-doubt, dating and marriage could be a great thing. But that cannot be all I have left to be excited for.

Maybe the root of my discontent at my imaginary future is simply dissatisfaction. I want to move on from here because I’ve grown absolutely weary of the same thing for the past year; how can I endure for another?

If you keep working at it, I am told you can come out of that plateau. Some shoot straight up in a display of exponential gain while others will continue with their steady climb. So we must soldier on, even if each day is like reading a book you’re just not that interested in; you have to keep reading to flip the pages so you can finally get to the good parts. And I have to believe there are going to be good parts.

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