Maybe you're reading this from the deck of a sailboat, or poolside at your swanky hotel, or on the beach, sand in your shorts. Wherever you are, you're likely relaxing, lamenting the end of another summer come and gone.
But there's good news, too. The shortening of days means there are fewer and fewer times when you will have to face the anxiety-inducing activity that is taking off your shirt. (Have you not been having anxiety about that? Are you well-adjusted or something?) Dropping temperatures spell a return to the halcyon days of Seamless sloth, in which meats are delivered to your door, placed between Pop Tarts, and shoveled into your mouth on a high-speed train to the place where your washboard abs are supposed to be.
Well...maybe. You should live out your time of hibernation however you damn well please (just as you should be eating Pop Tart sandwiches all year round!). You're beautiful and perfect as is.
But if you are the type who finds himself, come May-ish, frantically searching "Help! I've got six days to get a beach body!" six days before you're going to beach, then, first of all, stop Googling things like that; you can just write "six day beach body." But, more importantly, that means that you're the type of guy who's either putting too much stock in how he looks with his shirt off, or is ambitious/aspirational/has dreams!
And goals are good. But they take time. As Warren Buffett once said: "Someone is sitting in shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago." And yes, that quote's about financial investing, but, like money, hard bodies don't grow on trees, no matter when they're planted. They grow on The Rock, and Cristiano Ronaldo, and, yes, Kevin Hart. These are people who invest in exercise the way Buffett invests in index funds, dudes whose preferred ROI is cold, hard #gains. I am not any of those people. I'm just a guy whose body was once rated a "7 out of 10" and who hasn't slept since. But look, if not being able to do the task you shout about prevented you from shouting about it then we wouldn't have basketball writers, and we wouldn't live in an age of punditry. So here's my holiday advice, shouted from a place of very mediocre authority: The last day of this summer is the first of day of training for next summer.
You know this drill. You think, It's fine, I'll just start in January. But then what happens? Fall happens, and before you know it, winter happened, too, and your insides are a Jackson Pollock painting of football, beer, buffalo sauce, bourbon, Halloween candy, Christmas cookies, sadness, existential loneliness, and not enough Vitamin D. Then, it's April, you never started on your New Year's resolution to get in shape, and you can't remember if the nearest gym is closer to the place where you pick-up late-night taquitos or over towards your buddy Todd's spot. And so, in an effort to get you moving and avoid the agonizing, metaphorical uphill run you'll find yourself facing come springtime, some tips:
Make your fitness resolution now, since fall is the sweet spot for elevating your heart rate. Milder than the summer, when it's so humid that catching your breath feels like sucking air through a warm washcloth; but before the onslaught of cold weather. When blanket season does kick into full gear, you're more likely to keep going to the gym if you've made a habit of it the fall months when it's not as terrifying to venture outside.
Do something you like or try something new—like kickboxing, or SoulCycle, or beer yoga—because if you hate or are bored by it now, it's not sustainable once it gets colder and darker and you have ample excuses to stop going.
Give yourself a reward that is also something to work towards, like a beach vacation in Portugal over New Year's. Or, if you know you have trouble holding yourself accountable, something that is expensive enough and difficult enough that it will really suck if you aren't prepared, either because you will have to eat the entry fee or will lose control of your body halfway through: like, say, a triathlon in Florida in January.
Or don't do any of this. Who knows? Maybe time's not even linear. Maybe your bodies have already taken and are always becoming every form they've already had and ever will be. But if you do believe in free will, and choose to exercise it to get up and get after it tomorrow, and then stick with it until spring blooms, well, the very worst case scenario is that you will have exercised—and saved yourself one frantic, very poorly-constructed Google search.