As you may be able to gather from my current career, I’m a big fan of fitness. I love to try new workouts, reach new goals, and the way I feel after a good sweat session. Since exercise has been a big part of my life for many years now (both good and bad), I’ve come to realize what I like and what I don’t like in the fitness space.
While you may have goals in your current fitness plan, not everyone has the same ones. Here are 5 things I won’t do for fitness.
1. Run a marathon
Even in my super passionate, “I LOVE RUNNING ALL DAY EVERY DAY,” period, I still had no desire to run a marathon. Last year I ran three half marathons, which was GREAT, but getting to the end of that distance and realizing that it would only be the halfway point in a full marathon was terrifying. Without a doubt, it was always the first thought that would run through my head as I crossed the finish line.
So many props to those of you who run them, but it’s just not a personal goal of mine.
2. Do a fitness competition
Fitness competitions take so much dedication. What I find appealing about them is that you set a goal and you do everything in your power to reach it. When there’s a fitness-related goal, I’m always drawn to it in one way or another.
The problem for me is that they come with a lot of control. There’s control over the workout routine, control over every thing you put in your mouth, controlling your liquid consumption, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love control — but a little too much. It’s been a source of so many detrimental behaviors in my past that when I weigh the pros and cons of something like a fitness competition, my brain immediately starts screaming that I need to run away as fast as I can (but not marathon distance).
3. Put my health in jeopardy
Things like exercising when I’m sick or pushing myself to the point of injury is no longer something I aspire to do. In the past, I would wear it as some kind of badge of honor that I pulled my coughing and sneezing butt out of bed and made myself work out. Then I would inevitably wind up sicker for even longer. My early running issues also led me to a stress fracture that took me out for about two weeks.
I’ve come to expect that there will probably be injuries along the way. With the types of workouts I do and the fact that it’s a part of my regular routine, statistically some are bound to happen. My back injury in June, for example, was the culmination of some postural issues and stress over time. There’s a difference, however, between those injuries that are preventable and those that are freak occurrences. Overtraining injuries are entirely preventable and I try my best to listen to my body and rest when I need to.
4. Do a workout I don’t like
Sure, I’m all for trying new things and mixing it up, but if I try a workout and I don’t like it or feel like it’s not something that I would incorporate into my regular training, I’m probably not going to do it again. The key to being able to maintain an exercise routine is to find something that you enjoy doing, otherwise you’re going to start dreading and hating it and generalize that to all exercise period.
Some workouts work for some and not others. Barre classes, for example, are just not my jam. And yoga. DEAR GOD not yoga. I know it’s great and awesome and I have nothing against it objectively, but it’s something I’ve tried to maintain and I just can’t do it.
5. Do it for someone else
I’m also guilty of this one. In the past, I would exercise in order to look a certain way so that I could be perceived as what I thought was attractive. I always enjoyed exercise, but my motivation was for extrinsic rewards and for that reason it quickly became disordered. I tried over and over again to reach an ideal that my body simply wasn’t built for, meaning that no matter how hard I worked, I’d never reach.
What changed for me in terms of exercise is that I started doing it for myself. I thought about how it made ME feel, what MY fitness goals were, and suddenly the pressure (entirely my creation) was off. This enabled me to hear my body when it was tired or it felt off and I could take the proper rest that I needed. I was able to feel proud of myself and my accomplishments because I knew that I was doing it for me.
- What are some things you won’t do for fitness?
- Have you run a marathon? NICE JOB (hand clapping emoji)