One of my favorite rituals occurs early in the day. After I've been awakened by my alarm at 5 a.m.; after I've gone to the gym; after I've seen my kids out the door, driven to the train station, and taken the 33-minute ride from New Rochelle to New York City, I step out of Grand Central Station at 42nd Street and walk nine and a half blocks along Park Avenue to my office.

Every weekday. Every season. Didn't miss a day during winter and am loving it during this beautiful weather.

I could take the subway. It's quicker, warmer, drier. But it's not the same. It's too quick. Those few blocks are my time. Yeah, I might be checking and writing e-mail, shuffling through my iTunes collection, or reading an eBook. Still, it's my time. My time in between my arrival in the city and the rest of my sure-to-be-hectic day.

I relish my in-between time and always maximize it by doing something uplifting and/or relaxing. One day, music might do it. On another, it may be an inspirational podcast. Or it may simply be walking and thinking and observing the living canvas that accompanies each step.

You're probably doing a lot of the right things in your life. You're going to the gym and trying to eat well. You're bringing your "A" game to work. Check. Check. Check.

But what are you doing in between? How are you maximizing those gaps in your day? They're easy to take for granted, and very easy to dismiss as idle and insignificant.

Don't. Lots of guys are doing the right thing. Winners are doing more. They're using their in-between to gain an edge. They're getting smarter. They're getting inspired. Or they're simply clearing their minds of the clutter that might hinder their success.

Either way, they're using their in-between to make themselves better—physically, intellectually, mentally, spiritually, you name it. They're using it to win.

A lot of guys actually diminish all the good they do in the gym by blowing off their in-between. You can go to the gym every day, but you're not going to make the gains you want if you spit on your in-between.

You grab a doughnut on the way home, sneak a candy bar in the afternoon (after a burger and fries at lunch), then have a couple of slices of pizza and a beer for dinner. Doing the right thing is just the start. Doing the right thing in between will take you to the finish line. Ahead of the rest of the field.

Roy S. Johnson
Men's Fitness
Editor In Chief