"If I was more like you I would. I’m too old. I’m not in shape anymore. I used to be able too. I’m not fast enough. I’ll look silly. I'm too overweight. I wish I could."
I hear comments like this often, sometimes directly, others are overheard conversations at weekend activities from women sitting on the sideline of an event watching their family members participate.
There is plenty to talk about when it comes to getting fit, in shape, being healthy and living an active life and there's often more talk than action because of our self limiting beliefs. In my experience, as a trainer of 15+ years, I understand that, to some, being "fit” and “in shape” can sometimes sound and feel elitist and even self limiting, as though there’s a standard into which we must all conform.
But there's not! I repeat, in my loudest voice THERE IS NOT!
Somewhere, somehow along the path into adulthood, we forgot, exercise is more about play and enjoyment, than slogging it out to lose weight, get fit, look sexy etc. As adults we sit more, move less and get outside rarely in a day if at all. When this happens, we quickly lose our joy of movement and with it our bodies freedom. We stop exploring and accept what we see at eye level as the way the world is. We miss the everyday adventures of life, the fun and eventually lose the big kid inside us all.
So here's my suggestion, why not step a few years back in time when you think about your exercise routine and find enjoyment, like kids, through play and adventure.
I'm a huge believer in fun when it comes to moving your body. You only have to watch kids play in the park or on the beach in their wild innocence to be reminded. They run, jump and explore with huge, contagious grins. Everything is a great big exciting adventure, yet they are expert at experiencing their body as it is, without expectation. They are masters of movement and play, minus all the inhibition.
Once we lose this connection to nature via play in the outdoors, we lose our sense of adventure, our excitement for life and the ability to enjoy our natural body movement and its playful freedoms. Once we add the pressures surrounding us to conform to a certain "look" or "fitness level" then exercise becomes a chore for many.
I have found my outdoors time incredible for my health, my strength and general everyday 'bad-assness'. I find it stress free and to me, even though I enjoy activity, more importantly is the transformation I’ve experienced mentally, it's far more interesting than how many kilometres I might train for a race.
So I ask, when was the last time you played outside or adventured in the outdoors? If it’s been awhile, what’s the reason? What’s keeping you from getting outside more?
Never underestimate the importance of fun, play and adventure, when it comes to your fitness and health. You were meant to walk, run, ride, jump, swim, surf, paddle BUT you weren't meant to look a certain way to do it! So forget all the reasons you think you can't, get outside!
Travel, Play, Live enjoy your body, all it can do and play like a kid again!