“Ugh, I don’t want to work out!”
“I think I might skip that run today”
“Going to the gym is the last thing I want to do right now”
“It’s too bad we have to workout to stay healthy”
“I really don’t have enough time to exercise today”
Sound familiar? I know I’ve said all of these statements at least a time or two before. As we’re transitioning into a new season of training – winter – I am finding myself with a completely open schedule in terms of exercise. There are no races on my calendar for the upcoming future, no big events that I need to stay in shape for (hello, wedding), and I certainly won’t be wearing a bathing suit any time soon.
All of this make me realize that there’s really no reason I have to be working out right now. For the first time in a long time, there is no event that will be hanging over my head making me feel guilty if I skip a workout. I have no workouts to cross off, no schedule on the refrigerator, and no plan for longer than a week at a time.
So, with all of that said and done, what should I do? I’m finding that nothing is forcing me to workout right now. Not my husband, my family, and event, or my even own mind. With nothing pushing me to continue my fitness routine, I’m using this time to reevaluate my goals and decide what is next.
I am one of those people that gets really motivated by having a goal. Without a goal, I feel that there is no purpose, and really struggle to keep at it. I love to plan, and I plan everything. What is so different about this season of training is that I have no plan. No upcoming races, big goals, or trips that I am aiming for. With nothing on the schedule, I am at a point right now where I can truly do whatever I want.
Whatever I want.
That’s an interesting sentence in the fitness world, one that is so often forgotten. You hear a bunch of “have to”, “need to” and “promised to”, but not a lot of “want to”.
Why is it that something which is so necessary for life itself – staying healthy – never seems to be fun. Where did the fun in fitness go?
It is this time now, the time where there is nothing making me “have to” work out, that I am realizing exactly why I want to. Even with nothing on the horizon, no reason to look good or get strong, I am still so motivated to continue working out.
Not because I need to, but because I want to. That’s right: I want to. I love working out. There have certainly been times where I’ve dreaded exercising, wished I could stay on the couch all day long, or complained about the next run. But in the grand scheme of things – I truly love it.
The great thing about fitness is that it can look different for every single person. It’s funny that staying healthy is essential to life, yet it can come in millions of different forms. Fitness could mean going to the gym and lifting weights, bulking up and trying to get as strong as possible. It could mean logging hundreds of miles each month, lacing up your running shoes each day with excitement. Fitness could mean driving to the gym after work, practicing yoga with a class, or going for a walk with your spouse. Or maybe fitness is skiing on the weekends, swimming in the summer, and hiking in the fall.
Fitness could mean anything. If you find yourself dreading getting up and moving each day, you’ve probably found the wrong activity. If you hate putting on your tennis shoes more often than not, you’re probably doing something wrong. There’s no reason that we can’t love something we do to take care of ourselves.
Staying active is so often portrayed as a competition: who can be the strongest, run the longest, or lift the most. Social media shows millions of people out there each day getting fit, while the rest of us scroll through their accounts suddenly doubting our own abilities. Don’t let what you see get you down.
Just because your friend loves the elliptical doesn’t mean you’re going to. Sure, give it a try for a few days, but if you wind up dreading your time on the machine, give it up. Try yoga, or take a zumba class. Lift weights, learn a new sport. Try everything, until you’ve found the right fit.
Fitness doesn’t mean going to the gym and doing the most intense workout. You’re not “only” in shape if you fall under the stereotypical pattern of “working out”. Make fitness unique to you, and own it.
Fitness doesn’t have to be dreadful. Take some time to find something you love. Your heart and mind will thank you.