I spent 32 years of my life avoiding exercise. Well, maybe those first few years I was a force to be reckoned with, but my earliest childhood memories are of me avoiding exercise. I was the fat kid. The kid who always came in last. The kid who really had zero physical talents, although I had a pretty impressive tumbling roll that showed up whenever I tried to run.
I pursued my other gifts, talents and passions. Education. Helping others. Kindness. And I did well at them. But my life was missing something.
I would see friends going on adventures. Hikes! Kayaking!
Friends were participating in organized sports.
And I avoided it all. And I honestly felt sad. But embarrassed at the same time. There was no way at 320lbs I could hike. Heck, I could barely climb a set of stairs without being winded. Kayak? Um no. I was over the weight limit by a hundred pounds. Organized sports? I was way too embarrassed to even think about signing up for anything.
But now, at 35 years old, I am trying to fill that void in my life. That part of myself that wants to make up for lost time. I want to be physically fit. I want to be strong. I want to find something active that I am passionate about.
I read a blog post by the highly insightful Jeffrey Hansen-Carlson last week. Here is the one part has really had me thinking:
"If you want true fitness you need to find a sport you love and develop a
fitness program around getting better at it. Suddenly your efforts will
have real purpose. It does not matter what the sport is so long as it
puts a smile on your face."
So what do I want to do? What will give my efforts purpose?
Over the last three years I have been trying out a lot of new activities.
I now snowshoe. Enjoy it and I love being outside in winter!
I skate. Meh, it is okay and I will keep doing it because my boys like to skate.
I play squash! I think I love this above and beyond anything else I do for exercise.
I ran. Yep. I did a 5k this summer. Hated almost every minute of it.
I paddle. Got a kayak this summer and loved it.
I do cardio and weights in the gym. I want to enjoy this more because of my desire to be strong.
But how do I become deeply passionate about these? I just don't know. Maybe the passion will just start to grow? I want my day to day exercising to have more meaning. I want my time at the gym to be more focused into pursing my unknown passion.
And maybe I just need to combine passions. I am still working on my personal trainer and nutrition coach certifications and should be done by next fall. Helping people is something I am really good at. Maybe my time at the gym working on myself can help me become more passionate about helping others when the time comes.
I am also overcoming 35 years of avoiding exercise. Is it just bad habits and that dark side of my brain telling me I don't want to do it/can't do it? Do I actually love running but am just telling myself I hate it? Wait. No. I really do hate it. How do I break out of my embarrassment at being horrible at sports? How do I overcome not being a natural athlete? How does I not become discouraged at coming in last?
So what am I going to do? I guess just keep on doing what I am doing and hope that one of these activities really starts to become a part of my life that I cannot live out. A part of my life that inspires me to live healthier and gives my efforts purpose. And I don't want to go back to being 320lbs. I need this active part of my life now.