I want to start this post by saying you are amazing. You are beautiful. You are intelligent, empathetic, courageous, and a never ending list of positive traits that won’t fit on this page. And bonus: look at all the things your body can do. You woke up today, which is nothing short of amazing. You can breathe. Your legs are strong enough to support you and move you through the world. You can wrap your arms around your loved ones and hold them tight. You can smile at the world and light up the days of those around you like sunshine. You are amazing, just as you are.
But if you’re reading this post, you probably think you can do more. And without even meeting you, I think you can too. Because the fact that you’re reading this means you’re dreaming and wanting to better yourself. That’s the first step, because that dreaming leads to setting goals. And I dare you to make those goals BIG.
Now when you’re making those big goals of yours, think about why you want to do it. Is it to make yourself more flexible? Is it to give yourself more energy? It is to prove a point? But make your why specific and meaningful.
“I want to gain flexibility so it’s easier for me to sit on the ground while I play with my grandkids”; or
“I want to run a marathon because it’s on my bucket list and I want to be able to call myself a ‘marathoner’’”; or
“I want to gain upper body strength so I do not have to rely on other people to open containers for me”
Your “why” can be anything. No judgement here. Your “why” is for you and only you. Next step: I need you to remember your “why”. Trust me, it’s important.
Most of us have probably heard the quote “what would you do if you weren’t afraid to fail?”, or at least a similar quote. Well..what would you do? Take some time and actually think about this. Would you try a new exercise? Would you sign up for a race? Would you joint a training group or find a training buddy? Do it. Because I promise you that you are not going to regret it. If anything, you’ll regret not doing it. So do it now. Don’t wait until tomorrow or next week and give yourself time to talk yourself out of it. Do. It. Now. Reach for your phone and sign up for the class. Sign up for the race. Text a friend and make plans to exercise together. Do the thing now. And FYI, COVID-19 is not a valid excuse right now. There are so many classes/races being offered virtually and so many options to exercise with a friend virtually these days.
Now here’s the hard truth. You’re not going to feel like doing yoga or any other kind of exercise every day. You’re just not. And that’s okay. But here’s the deal- you gotta suck it up. We all go through phases where we don’t want to exercise. Consistency is key. And when we don’t have the motivation to exercise, we have to rely on our dedication and persistence. This is why our “why” is important. Remember your “why” from earlier in this post and really focus on that to drive you forward. Taking a rest day here and there is completely allowed. In fact, it’s encouraged. But taking a week or month (or more?) off here and there is not. You’re not doing yourself any favors.
I’m sure I’m not the only person out there who is really good at talking myself out of a workout. “I don’t have time” – No. You’re not making time. “It’s too cold outside” – Add layers or do an indoor workout. “I don’t have the right equipment” – We live in a time where there is a world of knowledge at your fingertips called the internet. Why not use it to find some modifications that don’t require equipment?
Obviously injuries are a different story. If you are injured, chances are you are not going to be able to do everything you want to do in a day and you may be somewhat limited in your exercise routine temporarily. But does that mean you can’t do anything? Chances are you can do something. Modifying the exercise, adding props, or exercising different muscle groups are all possible options.