Have you ever garbaged down enough food to tranq a girthy buffalo and then fretted that you’ve botched your diet?

Have you ever skipped a workout or two or five because of injury, travel, or reasons best known to the Dread Lord Cthulhu and then despaired that you’ve derailed your progress?

Have you ever wanted to pack it in because despite your best efforts in the kitchen and gym, you felt like you’re trying to swim upstream in a river of Jell-O?

Of course you have. We all have. And here’s the thing:

None of that actually matters because you can make every mistake imaginable without screwing this fitness thing up.

That’s right.

You can blow past your calories time and again without blowing it.

You can miss scores of workouts without wrecking it.

You can stray through the sunless streets of slumptown without spoiling it.

In short, you can fail over and over in fitness and still succeed.

How?

The only way to lose at this game is to strike your flag. To give up. 

That’s the big secret.

No matter how many times you tumble off the wagon, so long as you clamber back onto it and clatter onward, you can’t mess this up.

Because fitness isn’t a contest with winners and losers. There are no deadlines or duels, distinctions or demerits.

Fitness is like love, laughter, and learning—a wellspring of health and happiness to pursue purely for its own sake.

Fitness isn’t fleeting. It’s forever.

Spit out the saccharine fruits of short-termism, then, and delight in the realization that you have all of the time you need to find your feet (and abs).

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