Attar of Nishapur, a Sufi poet who lived in twelfth century Persia tells the story of an influential ruler who summoned a group of wise men to his court and asked them to create something which would remain true and accurate in all situations. After much contemplation and deliberation the wise men presented a ring inscribed with the words...
This Too Shall Pass.
Life ebbs and flows, nothing remains constant. As noted centuries later by Abraham Lincoln these four words can provide both hope when we are down and a reality check when we are up.
How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride; how consoling in the depths of affliction!
In the world of health and fitness this provides a timely reminder that basing happiness and success on transient markers like body fat percentages, and personal bests has its drawbacks. Yes, they can be good motivators and worthy of the occasional celebration but eventually the numbers will pass.
Long term we are better served by focusing on the journey rather than the destination. The real reward is doing the things which make us fit, strong and healthy, not a temporary biomarker which displays our progress along the way.