So as you can probably see, running is important to me and the fam. However, we love fitness in general and love to workout in a variety of ways, the important things are being active and being together!
I believe an integral part of being healthy is being active. Now, you don't necessarily have to run as much as we do, we run a lot, but being active on a regular basis is absolutely essential to health and happiness. Many times we are held back in our fitness and health goals by a multitude of obstacles, "I don't have time," "I'm in too much pain," "I have bad knees.." most of these are actually just excuses for fear, we are afraid that we will fail or people will judge us because of our fitness level or that we simply won't be able to cut it. We use the excuses to hide our fear, and then we act like we are victims of our circumstances. I have played this game far too often myself, however, thankfully I've had more success against the excuses and fear than defeats. I'd love to share what has made the difference in my fitness goals to help beat back those demons of fear and fight back the excuses.
I often am asked why I run, and the answer is always the same, I love to do it. One key to being active is finding something you love to do. My family and I enjoy playing basketball and soccer, and riding bikes, and swimming, and hiking, but nothing satisfies like running does. My running frees me to be able to do all the other things, its the thing I know I can do that will always release the endorphins and get me in a good mood. It's not always easy though, there are some days that it's so hard to get out of bed, or put my running shoes on, even though I know I'll feel better once I do. Some days I have to fight to make it out; I wish I could say I always win that fight but there are some days that I just can't get going, which I always regret. Thankfully though, because I love it, the times I don't go are few and far between. The love is what gets me going, it helps me overcome the excuses, so find something active you love that gets you motivated to get out. Your love doesn't necessarily have to be the thing that really kicks your butt and gets you in shape, it could be a little more mild exercise, but something that you can enjoy enough to get you out the door, from there it will help you get to the point of doing the harder work of pushing yourself to get in better shape. You'll find that the more you do it, the more you'll want to be in shape to enjoy it more, and thus find motivation for working on your overall fitness.
Accountability. I had a huge benefit for years being a coach, everyday I had a group of people waiting for me, relying on me to be there at practice everyday, while my athletes relied on me for training, I relied on them for keeping me accountable for getting out and getting my own workout in. I needed to be an example for them so I needed to put into practice the training regimen that I put them through, that coupled with the consistency of being there with them was awesome to keep me motivated. My wife is also a huge help, for those days when I was tired or just didn't feel like working out, she was always there enthusiastically encouraging me to do it, just enough motivation to make it happen. Finding someone who is the right mix of encouragement and a bit of tough accountability is key to getting yourself out of bed some days. Whether you have someone you workout with or simply someone to hold you to it, having that influence will motivate you in the times that you don't "feel" like it, those times we very easily bend to those excuses.
A plan. So I use this term lightly, I am all for making a schedule and sticking to it, however, many times schedules make me feel stifled and I often find myself discouraged because I missed something in the schedule. That being said, I do believe in making a flexible schedule and rolling with it. I find that when I make a strict schedule life happens and I get stressed and thus my family and confidence suffer. A more flexible schedule with some basic goals helps motivate and gives grace. I usually make a weekly schedule that includes a couple different workouts ranging from easy and enjoyable to difficult and challenging; variety in the schedule helps break monotony and boost motivation. My schedule changes based on my workout needs and life's demands.
The Big Three. I'm only going to touch on these items briefly because I will expand on them in another post, but these are essentials for setting yourself up for success in overcoming those excuses and getting moving. I say these are the big three because they are not only necessary for being successful in overcoming the things that hold you back in getting started but also paramount to continued success and progress in your workouts. Food, water, and sleep. Making sure you are keeping yourself fueled, hydrated, and rested are three things you cannot workout without. Now I know this sounds like a no-brainer, but how often have you complained about not getting enough rest for one reason or another, or found you've gotten busy at work and didn't eat, or I find this one especially, you go all day drinking coffee, soda, or otherwise and before you know it you haven't had a decent glass of water all day? It is so important that these three are in balance as they not only effect performance but also mood, attitude, and motivation. It's easy to miss out on the big three; I've got much more to say about each of these in another post, so look for "The Big Three" post coming in a couple days.
Boiled down, and simplified, these four things have helped me overcome my workout demons that hold me back. Finding something you love, having accountability, making a plan, and getting the big three have made a big difference in my fitness journey. I hope this helps anyone out there looking to get going or to keep going with your goals, if you've got any questions send them my way and look for me and the kids out on the trails!