My Fitness Journey: Three Lessons
I’ve Learned So Far
It has been almost a year since the beginning of my lifelong fitness journey, and I wanted to share with you some of the lessons I have learned (and some I am still learning to master) so far. Some of these lessons have to do with health and fitness and some have more to do with life in general. So here goes!
Lesson Number One
Exercise can be a form of meditation.
When you think of meditation, you might picture someone sitting cross-legged on the floor with their eyes closed, engaged in deep breathing. This can be what meditation looks like, but it can also look like someone walking or running. People use meditation to center themselves and focus bringing themselves to a calmer state of being. I have found that when I go out for a run, particularly longer runs, I am able to center my thoughts and focus on my breathing. During the times where I am challenging myself to run further, I use positive self-talk and set my focus on an immovable object like a tree or building to help me reach whatever goal I set for myself.
After my run, I am usually calmer and more clear-headed. I can flow throughout my day with sober thinking which feeds into my decision-making/choices, and as a result, my nutritional choices are better as well.
Lesson Number Two
You do not always need someone to root for you. Be your own cheerleader.
I started this journey solo. I mentioned it to my husband, but I did not make it a requirement that he join me. I was hoping by mentioning it to him that he would, but it was not a necessity for me. While he was supportive of me, he did not join me…right away. A little over a month after beginning my fitness journey, I realized that this was something I wanted to do for myself. I wanted to prove to myself that I was not a quitter, and I could be consistent. Around the same time, I decided to take a break from social media. Man, this was isolating! I wouldn’t be posting any #gymshark photos or sharing any updates with my friends on Facebook. While this was a totally random decision and had nothing to do with me beginning my fitness journey, it turned out to be such a great way to focus on doing something wholly and honestly FOR ME.
During this time, I practiced a lot of positive self-talk. I began to coach myself into believing in me and the strength and perseverance I possessed. I saw myself get stronger both physically and mentally. The more consistent my positive self-talk became during workouts, the more consistent it became in life in general. So yes, while it is nice to have people in your corner cheering you on, it is even more important to become your own cheerleader. You won’t always have other people around, but you will always have YOU.
Lesson Number Three
Grace is the secret sauce.
As much as I preach consistency to others concerning fitness, I must say that grace is just as important on this journey. Don’t get me wrong! Consistency is the ingredient that will bring every component of fitness together for you, but grace is the ingredient that will allow you to keep going. Grace became especially important for me during those times I couldn’t perform a specific exercise the way it was demonstrated or when I exceeded my caloric intake for the day. Grace is a gift to individuals (like me) who have an “all or nothing” mindset. When you feel like you aren’t getting anywhere and the results seem to be slow in coming, grace gives you permission to feel all the sadness of being seemingly defeated without allowing you to succumb to that emotion. Because grace steps in and says, “Girl, be kind to yourself. It took you a while to put it on so it’s going to take some time to get it off.” When you begin to give yourself grace, you will not allow any negative self-talk to go unchecked and you will be okay when you make mistakes.
I am fairly sure I have learned so much more than these lessons outlined here, but these are the ones that really stand out. I am also sure that I will have even more lessons as my journey continues and I will share those as well. I want to encourage you to either begin your journey or stay on your journey and along the way, stop to reflect on the things you have learned about life and about yourself. I think you will find that it really isn’t all about fitness.
Happy Journeying, Good People!