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January 2, 1978

Staying Is Harder Than Getting There

JAMA. 1978;239(1):53. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03280280053031

Regular exercise that improves general physical fitness may lessen the risk of a heart attack and may increase one's capability of dealing with illness should it occur. Therefore, although a desk-bound editor, I elected to engage in a program of physical conditioning, and from the many programs widely publicized, selected that recommended by Kenneth H. Cooper.1 Jogging in the early morning was pleasant during the summer, and the anticipation of reaching a goal, modestly set at a 3-km run each morning in 17 minutes, made the effort seem easy and worthwhile. Friends and family remarked on my improved appearance, I felt fitter and more energetic, and having reached the preset goal, I felt some smug satisfaction. However, the lovely summer mornings gave way to the dark, cold, and wet mornings of late fall, and the realization finally dawned that in pursuing a goal, it is much harder to stay than