For as long as I can remember fitness has been a part of my life. I started skiing shortly after I could walk, spent my summers hiking, my free time climbing trees and frolicking through the yard. Soon after I started playing soccer, basketball, track, tennis, flag football…really anything that got me moving. And why? I was raised to love moving my body. It wasn’t forced upon me, nor did it ever feel like a chore. It was simply a part of life, and I absolutely loved it.
I took this love of movement with me through high school and off to college. But then something changed. I was diagnosed with a spinal infection and was unable to workout (let alone sweat) for 6 months. For the first time in my life fitness was taken away from me. I gained weight and my view of fitness began to shift. What was once something I genuinely loved turned into something that felt like a chore.
I found myself overanalyzing my workouts and spending hours in the gym when all I wanted was to go for a run. Over time my view began shift back to what it once was. I stopped focusing on how my body looked and started doing exercises and activities that brought joy into my life. For me this meant less hours in the gym and more time trail running, biking, hiking, skiing, and rock climbing. My motivation wasn’t centered around a scale, it was centered around the way being active made me feel.
So why workout at all?
A lot of people can view fitness as a chore. Their motivation runs low and they are only doing it because they feel like they have to. But ask yourself; is that really scalable for the long term? If you’re dreading the gym when you’re 25 do you see yourself consistently going for the next 40 years? Probably not.
So, how does one create a lasting fitness routine? The answer is simpler than you might think; DO WHAT YOU LOVE! Obvious isn’t it? When you love your fitness routine working out comes naturally. You’re able to find motivation and get excited at the thought of moving your body. Just because your friends love yoga doesn’t mean you have to force yourself into liking yoga. There is such a wide range of activities that I guarantee you can find one that you enjoy. Maybe it’s going to a Crossfit class or maybe it’s speed walking while you listen to a podcast. It’s important to remember that no one activity is superior to another. What is important is moving your body, how ever you find the most joy. For some people surfing brings them joy, for others its rollerblading, and how ever different those two activites may be, they have one underlying quality…they get you moving.
Fitness and social media tend to be a double edged sword. You can use the internet to find a plethora of at home workouts, tips, and suggestions. But social media is also an easy place to fall into the trap of comparison. We may feel incredibly accomplished with our recent fitness endeavors, until we open instagram and see other people surpassing what we just accomplished. Well my friends, comparison is the their of joy. The truth is there will always be someone stronger, skinnier, fitter, faster, and better than you…AND THAT’S OKAY. Just because someone you know ran a marathon does not diminish the fact that you just completed your first 5k run without stopping. Just because that guy at the gym can bench press twice as much as you does not diminish the new PR you set today. Just because that girl next to you in yoga can hold a handstand doesn’t diminish the progress you’ve made on your mat.
When we workout solely because we feel like we need to, it becomes quite easy to compare our accomplishments to others. And I’m here to tell you that if you are continually comparing yourself to others you will never be truly happy. Your feeling of lack will always overshadow the personal progress you have made. But when we focus on DOING WHAT WE LOVE (no matter how odd it may seem to others), we stop competing with others and start competing with ourselves. We can revel in our accomplishments while simultaneously wanting to improve upon our work. We are able to find inspiration from others accomplishments and allow them to lift us up rather than tear us down.
When we workout doing something that we love, it becomes clear why we should workout at all. While physical activity has the ability to help us lose weight or tone up, its affects are much more grand than that. It helps us become the best version of ourselves, it reduces our risk for diseases, it increases our life expectancy, provides us with those sweet sweet endorphins, and improve our health both inside and out.
Fitness should be fun and it’s my job to remind you of this. I have experience first hand, time and time again, how magical fitness can be when you genuinely enjoy the activity. I am here to guide you and help you reach your peak.
Follow the “WORK WITH ME” tab up above if you’re ready to make changes that will last a lifetime. It’s time to start investing in yourself and your health.