Monday, March 4, 2019

Persistently Fit

Fitness is a personal thing.  Everyone goes about it differently and there is no single way that's better than another.  It's more about finding something you enjoy and can stick with for years to come.   My fitness journey began two decades ago when I had just moved out on my own.  When I moved out, for the first time in my life I was away from all my friends and family.  It was time to reinvent myself and I was trying to decide who I wanted to be in more ways than one.  I noticed that I started gaining weight as spent most of my time sitting behind a desk, standing at a register, or glued to a screen.  I wish I could say that I was motivated by wanting to be healthy, but really, I was just wanted to be thin.  It took me years to realize that was the wrong motivation and part of the reason I wasn't successful at my fitness endeavors.
 I was an active kid, growing up on a 100 acre farm and playing a few years of basketball.  Statistically speaking mostkids quit playing sports after 6th grade because it stops beingfun.  That was me and that was why I stopped.  It wasn't about playing a game with friends it became about trying out, possibly being the loser who didn't make the team or worse making the team and having to win, Win, WIN.  That's not fun, it's stressful.  So, I quit sports, but never really stopped wanting to be active.
A few short years later I was working and going to school full time and spending most of my day at a desk pouring over text books.   The pounds piled on and I started to hate my body.  Rather than be miserable I started exercising.  It took me another five years of trial and error, fitness DVDs, gyms, and fad diet after fad diet before I finally found the right combination of reasonable eating and HITT combined with weight training before I finally loved my body.  Even during and after two pregnancies, I stayed fit.

You may have noticed the Jillian Michaels ad at the side of my blog and it's there for a reason.  Jillian's programs are what got me where I wanted to be with my personal fitness and I still do her workouts almost exclusively, but I also frequently take walks, and every now and then I like to mix things up with bike riding, hiking, swimming, or the occasional trip to the track.  
Walking is my main go-to though since my many attempts at taking up jogging over the years have been unsuccessful thus far.  If I do manage to power through all the side stitches and sore muscles, life typically gets in the way and by the time I get back to jogging I have to start the painful process all over again.  And then there was the summer when I pulled my hamstring and spent two months in constant pain while I waited for it to heal.   Eeesh, jogging may not be for me, but walking definitely is, and that's the real key to lifelong fitness, it has to be something you like to do and want to get back to when life gets in the way for a while.
There are always obstacles to anything we want to achieve.  The important thing is to keep trying.  Take a break when you need one, be honest with yourself if you need to give more, but also, be kind to yourself when life throws obstacles at you that are just so big everything gets put on hold while you deal with them, and then get right back to it. After all, isn't persistence, that hard refusal to quit, the real key to being successful at any endeavor?
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