I don’t know anyone who exercises just for the sake of it. There’s always a goal in mind that’s the driving force behind being physically fit. For me, it’s hiking – I truly love being in the mountains and it’s my main motivation in getting back into shape again.
Each month this year, I’m challenging myself to do something that I’ve put off, and it’s all part of my Maybe on Monday project! This month is exercise… and I really find myself at a loss for where to start. If you would have known me 8 years ago, we wouldn’t even be talking about this today. I was a trail runner, hiker, avid gym goer, and I went to yoga and dance classes as many times per week as I could.
So… what happened? Life happened, in the form of working long hours, living back and forth between the US and Canada during our immigration, and then a car accident. I was hit from the side a number of years ago now, and the resulting injuries were bad enough that even yoga wasn’t an option anymore, much less dance class. I went from being able to drop down and do 20 pushups (full real ones) without problem, to not even being able to complete 1! During these last few years, I’ve tried to keep up walking (and some hiking in the summer) whenever I could, and it’s helped some. But, now that my health problems are receding into the background, I want to focus more on my fitness again.
For starters, I spend waaayyy… to much time at a desk on the computer (when I’d rather be hiking)! In the past, I’ve relied on my physically active jobs to keep me in some semblance of shape. Now I need a plan, because a sedentary life is proven to be more destructive on our health than we even realize. My goal in working out, is to be in shape to be healthier, (and ready for mountain climbing on the weekends – above photo).
So my challenge to myself and to you is:
Start somewhere, no matter how little or insignificant the start might seem, beginning is half the work!
I’ve struggled to start exercising regularly again, because I’m so out of shape that everything is hard and leaves my muscles sore for days – or if we’re being completely honest, weeks! But… you’ve got to start somewhere right, even if it feels like the bottom (which is just me exaggerating)? In addition to walking, I’m finally able to get back into yoga again which has really helped, especially with my injuries! With hiking season right around the corner, I have some serious motivation to step it up a little – the mountains are calling!
I’m finding that there’s no certain way to be fit that could possibly work for everyone. It’s more about tailoring exercise to suit your health needs and what you like to do. It’s important to like what you’re doing as a workout as much as humanly possible. For instance, I don’t really like walking but it’s what I’m able to do right now. I either listen to an audio book, or my husband goes with me and we talk about our day. It helps pass the time, and I’ve found I now look forward to our walks.
Which brings me to my final point for today:
Don’t let your mind defeat you!
Excuses, excuses, excuses, my mind is always coming up with some sort of explanation for why fitness can’t be a priority today. And… somewhere in my head is this notion that if I’m not running up mountains, it’s not a workout. Now, how ridiculous is that? Being healthy and fit has little to do with trail running in particular, it’s about finding the best activity for you individually, and that may change due to circumstances. There’s so many activities out there that I can do right now, even if it’s not some of my favorites. So… I’m walking for now, and maybe some day soon I’ll run again – there’s a trail that runs along Waterton Lakes, (photo below) that has my name on it!
What do you do to stay in shape?