My Story Compacted
So my overall fitness journey began way back in 2nd grade when I started playing football. I continued playing through elementary and middle school and then stopped after my ninth grade season. I had a great time playing all the years but once it got to the high school level my heart really wasn’t in it anymore.
At the end of my sophomore year in high school I discovered Lifetime Fitness, and although I didn’t know it at the time, it would become a second home to me. It seems that that time in life– around 16 years old– is pivotal in a young person’s life because it is when people develop long-lasting habits to deal with angst, confusion, and, in many cases, depression. Teens deal with these feelings in many ways: performing music, playing sports, acting in the theatre, writing, and drinking (unfortunately) are just a few. Once I found Lifetime, my way to deal was through weight lifting and overall fitness.
From dealing with depressed episodes and increasing my confidence to handling anger in a more positive and progressive way, working out helped me to get through many mental and emotional hardships through the last five years of my life. I’m a Junior in college now and still work out almost every day. It is not only my medicine that makes me feel better when things may not be going well in other aspects of life, but it is also my meditation that keeps me grounded and at peace.
Enough about me, this is your fitness journey we are talking about
Whether you are serious about getting active or just reading this article to kill a few minutes, this is where I’m going to write down some tips and fitness advice I have gained over the last half-decade, both in and out of the gym. I by no means have all the answers but I do think I have a handful of them and I hope you find some value in what I share.
1) This is Number One in beginning your fitness journey: If you know deep down you want to get fit and active but just aren’t feeling the motivation, DO IT ANYWAY!
- Like anything else, the hardest thing to do is get started. Don’t wait around for motivation and energy to wash over you– it probably won’t happen. You’ve got to get going regardless of your anxiety or apathy and then that motivation will follow. When you’re tired and sweaty and endorphins are rushing through your body you’ll say, “Hey, look at that! I didn’t really want to work out at all before but damn do I feel good now! Let’s go for another ten minutes.”
2) Make working out a habit
- Set aside a certain time every day, or even every other day, for your daily activity. It would be very helpful to go so far as even writing down a weekly workout schedule for yourself. That way you will be held more accountable.
- Get so used to routine fitness that it becomes a let down when you can’t work out for a day or two.
3) Determine your own fitness level and goals
- Don’t fall into the trap of striving to be what society idolizes. The truth of the matter is that many of the highly esteemed fitness models and body builders are not nearly as wholesome or healthy as many perceive them to be (although there are a few that I really look up to).
- Whether your goal is to complete a thirty minute walk every morning/night this summer or to get your body ready for a marathon, it is important that you work towards that goal as wholeheartedly as possible. Allow yourself to succeed and feel proud that you accomplished what you set out to do, regardless of how big or how small it may seem to others.
4) Shed the self-consciousness
- The only time you should be down on yourself in your fitness journey is when you give it up and tell yourself that you can’t reach your goals. YOU CAN! Maybe you feel overweight or are embarrassed of your chicken legs, or whatever it may be, but If you are putting in work to make positive change in your life then that’s the only thing that matters. You keep on going and pay no mind to the “naysayers,” as Arnold would call them.
- Unfortunately there are going to be jerks from time to time, whether at the gym or out in the world. They may say hurtful things and try to put you down. Turn any resentment for them into positive energy to push you through a tough work out and then let them float from your consciousness. They are not worth a spot in your mind, you have too many other important things to focus on.
5) Do what works for you and listen to your body
- All of us are going to have different fitness needs and desires. What works for some people is not going to work for you, and likewise vice versa. The key is in listening to your body and using methods that feel right for you. If you start a new workout plan that guarantees great results in a month and you can’t get through half of that without having joint and ligament pain then the plan may not be for you.
- Be weary of plans claiming quick, fast, and painless results. They are generally a bunch of B.S. and their only concern is to make money by selling you some bottle of magical pills. Like anything else worthwhile and valuable in life, your fitness goals are going to take time, focus, and persistent effort to attain.
6) Make motivation a consistent part of your work outs
- This one plays a huge role in just about every facet of my life, not just fitness. Whether its motivational videos (which you can find a plethora of on Youtube) or music or books, make sure to include some sort of motivation methods in your routine.
- If you want an example, this is a video that I’ve watched countless times in order to put myself into a motivated and inspired mindset:
7) Find a friend or two to embark on your fitness journey with you
- Although this piece of advice is not particularly crucial, many people find it easier to work out habitually if they have someone to work out with– a “work out buddy”. Part of the reason I made a habit of working out and lifting weights was because two of my best friends and I developed a routine of going to Lifetime Fitness every day after school got out.
- If you are somewhat of a lone wolf like me then you’ll be just fine with putting in the ear buds and shutting out the world for an hour. Whatever works to get you in the proper mind state.
As always, thanks for reading. I sincerely hope that you can take away some of these tips I’ve given you and use them in a way that is beneficial to your life.
If you have any questions or think that I could help you in any other way regarding fitness just shoot me a message or a comment. I’ll try to answer as best I can and I’ll point you in a better direction if I am unsure 🙂
Danny P Writes
(P.S. “Runner’s High” is a real thing and not only is it awesome but it’s also free!)