I love fitness. I love to workout. I love sports. I think anyone that knows me, knows that when fitness is involved, I’m there with bells on!
Last year, I had the amazing opportunity to attend the 30th IDEA World Fitness Convention is San Diego, California and before, during and after it, I was even more in love. Being a newbie to the convention, I booked my husband and I in for heart pounding, push it to the limit workouts for every single time block available from 6am-6pm for four days straight. Sport Conditioning with Peter Twist, Turbo Fire with Chalene Johnson, P90X 2 with Tony Horton, Extreme Intervals with Helen Vanderburg, The Dance showdown with Zumba, La Blast, and Les Mills Body Jam; I couldn’t miss any of it! Needless to say after day one, the first words out of our mouth getting out of bed were, “OUCH” with maybe a few more four letter words that aren’t blog appropriate.
We pushed it hard, but I couldn’t help but feel frustrated during the last sessions of the day because I just had no more gusto, no gas left in the tank, and it was actually psychologically doing the exact opposite of what I was trying to achieve. I was so worried about missing something spectacular, that towards the end of the day, I was missing something spectacular! I was missing the ability to truly sit back and enjoy the process. I was missing thanking my body for what it allowed me to do, and being proud that my mind pushed me through each workout when every ounce of my body said, stick a fork in it, you’re done!
How many times do we get suckered into thinking that quantity is more important than quality? We keep thinking I don’t want to miss it; the next big piece of fitness equipment, the next big cleanse nutrition system, the newest sing karaoke while you do hot yoga with your clothes on backwards because someone said it will get you results. I’m going to give it to you straight. You, and only you, by pushing yourself past your comfort zone and giving all you’ve got day in and day out is what’s going to get you results.
If you can give it 110% for three hours a day, then more power to you, you are a rock star and I admire you, but for most of us, we have full-time jobs, houses to look after, kids to feed, husbands or wives to feed, social commitments, work commitments, hockey practice, football practice; the list is endless. We might only get forty-five minutes to an hour a day for ourselves, and even then some of us feel guilty for taking that time for ourselves. I can tell you, I never feel guilty about taking the time for myself. When I’m 90, barring that a not-so-fair hand has been dealt to me as I’ve seen some really healthy, fit, active people get a life-limiting diagnosis, I want to be responsible for my own health and where I stand with my physical and mental capabilities. Family history is the only not controllable risk factor for life-limiting diagnoses, but I hate to break it to you, all of the rest are in your control. Ultimately, I want to be able to take my grandkids to the park, not be on death’s doorstep. To me, those forty-five to sixty minutes a day are life dependent and I treat it that way.
When I was in my teens and even early twenties, I exercised because I was vain. We all did. I was in the dating scene, meeting guys, starting new jobs knowing that people form an opinion of you within the first ten seconds of meeting you. I was newly out of college with something to prove; I was calm, cool, collected, fit and sassy! Now that I’m in my thirties, I exercise because I want my heart and lungs to last and I don’t want to end up with diabetes or cancer if I can help it. I train for a 5K and “slog”, dare I say run, but my slow jog is what keeps me from plateauing. So instead of missing the next big thing, I push it 110% every time I teach a class or step my feet on the pavement for a “slog”.
I challenge you, if you find yourself going through the motions or you’re feeling guilty about taking time for yourself, stop and ask yourself why. Are you burnt out? Is this your fifth workout of the day? Are you so worried about missing it, that you’re truly missing it? Be thankful what your body and mind can achieve, and give it 110%. You owe it to the people you love, the instructor who is teaching your class, and most importantly, yourself!