I’ve been in sports for as long as I can remember. I did track in elementary school, track and cross country in middle school, and basketball, lacrosse, soccer, track, and cross country in high school. To answer your question that I know you are all dying to ask, no, I was not good at basketball, lacrosse, or soccer because I’m the least coordinated person on the face of the planet. Like, so bad. But, that’s besides the point. Moving along…
Then college came around, and I was finally stoked on not racing or competing anymore. My mind was set on relaxing. I had the luxury of eating whatever I wanted during high school, because I was constantly burning everything off. Yeah, definitely didn’t have that luxury in college. Chips? Yes please. Lucky Charms? Stfu, yes. Getting my third plate of food in the dining hall? Also, yes. And then the weight started to come on. It wasn’t a lot, and it wasn’t that noticeable, but I FELT a difference. My body felt weaker, and I didn’t wake up feeling good every day. I was still working out here and there, but not nearly as much as I was in high school. My black hole of a stomach was no longer working, and it was time to hit the gym regularly again.
After a few months, I was just getting so bored of the same routine: cardio and lifting weights. I just felt like I was repeating the same workouts over and over again, and my boredom was forcing me to leave the gym early. But, I was becoming obsessed with my body image. Because I didn’t feel like I was making much progress with my workouts, I didn’t feel like I was making much progress with my body; I didn’t FEEL good anymore. My muscles were only utilizing muscle memory, and I wasn’t improving. Nonetheless, looking “perfect” became my main objective, whatever the hell that means.
When I transferred to TCU, I started running again, jump roping, playing basketball, biking, climbing, and really made it my goal to switch up my workouts every day. I realized that you don’t need a structured workout to keep your body healthy and active. I started to create partner workouts, competition based workouts, and relay race workouts. Working out became FUN. My body was working in ways it wasn’t used to. Here, my obsession transformed; it transformed from being obsessed with what I looked like to being obsessed with this incredible feeling. Because I was always trying something new, my body was always “learning,” if you will; my muscle confusion was reaaaaaal.
Point of all of this?? Think back to waaay back when cavemen and women ruled the Earth. They didn’t hit their local cave to lift weights. They were constantly active. They hunted, explored, gathered, and constantly walked around. They didn’t have to deal with obesity, Type II Diabetes, clogged arteries, or any other disease that has to do with unhealthy diets and a lack of exercise. They didn’t have to plan a workout into their days; their active lifestyle WAS their workout. They ate what the Earth allowed them to eat, and never stopped exploring the land. Rather than thinking of your workouts as “exercise” think of them as staying ACTIVE! Just move your body all day. Channel your inner child, and run around without a care in the world. If you make it your priority to stay active every day, you won’t have to worry about not getting enough exercise in. Pair your active lifestyle with healthy meals and unhealthy snacks/meals in moderation, and you are on your way to finding that perfect balance between happy and healthy.
I challenge you to do your workout outside today! Go on a run, hike, bike ride, jog, walk, crawl, or do whatever YOUR body allows you to do. Enjoy the smell of fresh air and the sound of people. Allow yourself to feel just a little bit lighter, if only for a moment.