BY COURTNEY HENDRICKS, HR Professional & Fitness Enthusiast
I’ll never reach my goal. Why bother, it’s too overwhelming.
As humans, we crawl. It’s the first form of independent movement we know as infants. It starts as a slow tug and pull on our belly. Our legs eventually get involved and then our arms and it continues. The crawling turns into shaky attempts at standing, using couches and coffee tables for balance. And then we get braver and take one or two unsteady steps forward before we fall down. But what happens after? We try again. And again. And again. Until all of a sudden we’re cruising around the living room playing tag with our brothers and sisters.
The struggle of transitioning from crawling to walking is now a distant memory. We don’t see full grown adults crawling on the ground, right? That’s because inevitably we learn how to walk. Babies don’t think, oh shoot, this walking thing is going to be way too hard. Why bother? Might as well give up now.
No, babies just keep trying. Day after day, they wobble and fall and get up again, until finally they get their feet under them and the steps come easily.
Fitness is a lot like that. You have a vision and idea of what you want to look like and how you want to get there, but after a very sweaty and uncomfortable twenty minutes at the gym, you feel like your goals are the size of Mount Everest. How will you ever lose weight, tone your abs, run that marathon, get back to where you used to be. You have so far to go. So much to do. How does everyone else do it? What’s the secret?
You want to know the secret?
Here it is: there IS no secret. The solid security of physical fitness is found in the fact that it is entirely and 100% up to one person. You. You wake up at 5:00 a.m. to go to a kick boxing class before work. You decide to skip that donut because you don’t want the sugar crash later. You opt out of happy hour with your friends because you have a Pilates class you just can’t miss.
Or, you decide NOT TO. You decide to make excuses, saying you’re too overweight, too busy, too broke, too weak. The miracle about both options is that it begins and ends with the choices YOU make.
Motivation is huge in the fitness world. We hear it from trainers, see it advertised on TV and social media, find it preached by every major brand. But the thing about motivation is that it is fleeting. It comes and goes and can be as fickle as ever.
But where motivation fails, consistency saves. Repeated habits – day after day – month after month. That’s what draws the line between a short term fix and a lifestyle shift. That’s what achieves results -prioritizing health and fitness to a point where you feel like your day isn’t complete without it. It’s carving out dedicated time every day for yourself and your goals.
There is an element of pressure that’s healthy. No matter where you are in your fitness journey, being a little tough on yourself is good. It keeps you accountable to what you’ve committed to. It keeps you from getting apathetic in your efforts. This is where the personal trainers at Innovative Health & Fitness really step up to the plate. They are there for you, pushing and encouraging you, giving you that extra motivation when you find your own lacking. When you need ideas to keep challenging your muscles, the trainers will share new and fresh strategies to keep you moving forward.
Here is another not-so-secret secret: you will fail. Some days you won’t go to the gym because you’d rather sit on the couch in yoga pants, eating Fritos and binge-watching Netflix. And some days you’ll go to the gym, and it will take everything in you just to finish your workout. Some days you will feel like crap. Some days you will feel like a warrior. But you will have many of both kinds of days, and that’s okay. Trust the journey and embrace the process – however messy it may be. Know that the only REAL way to fail is to never start.
Here’s the last bit of wisdom when it comes to fitness. It takes a whole huge pile of courage to take that first step. When you don’t feel good in your own skin and you push past it…that takes immense courage. Trying a new group fitness class, feeling dumb and awkward and uncoordinated in front of twenty other people doing exactly the same…that takes more courage than you know. Registering and training for a triathlon for the sole fact that you want bragging rights…mega courage. But the relief is that you only have to do the first time once. After that, you’re just one with a hundred others who are all sweating and grunting and laughing at themselves, working towards a common goal: self-improvement and ultimately, self-love.
So, it’s time to take that step. Are you with me?