As I get older and because of the hormone blockade I have gained weight, I do not mean a little weight, I have gained a lot of weight. Exercise has also become very difficult because of the peripheral neuropathy that the blockade has given me. I even have difficulty just walking!

Now that I have been on an off cycle from the hormone blockade, I find that I am improving. The neuropathy has subsided; I am again able to walk, for a limited distance, but walk I can.

Therefore, I decided to try to return to a gym and formalize an exercise program. I convinced two friends to join me and check out a new gym that had recently opened in my neighborhood. The three of us went on a tour and we were all positively impressed with the facilities. One of my friends and I decided to take a three month trial membership while the other friend was so impressed that he took out a life membership for himself and his entire family. He told us that it was such a good deal and the facilities were so attractive that he just could not allow the situation to pass without taking advantage of it.

As we left the gym my friend who also had taken the limited trial membership leaned over to me and said that our compatriot would never see the gym again! I agreed with him and we were right!

He had just bitten off to much. On the other hand, those of us who had opted for the short membership actually made it to gym. We had taken a little step and we were successful.

We all try to improve and we all make great resolutions, especially when we come face to face with our own mortality. How often have I told myself that I am going to do everything differently, be a good person, be kind and gentler, and be more loving, charitable and understanding?

When we make these global commitments, we tend to fall flat on our face, to be total failures. As we fail at one of these tasks, we feel like failures and then fail repeatedly. Our good intentions just flow down the drain.

The trick is to do small pieces. Choose one or two things and be successful, go for the trial membership. Then we can build from there. Sometimes less is actually more.

Every little change is something. Keep it simple and small and it will grow.

Joel T Nowak MA, MSW