We know the story all too well. You’re at a public place – say, taking a walk on the beach – just minding your own business. Right then, when you’re feeling good about yourself, past you strolls the most perfect specimen of the human form within a 100 kilometre radius. They just saunter along, being all perfect, flexing every known muscle group. There’s no way this is a coincidence, you think to yourself. The powers-that-be are sending you a message. Shape up or ship out, they’re saying. Stomach in, chest out! Turn that one pack into a six pack!
First the questions come. Where to from here? Surely I can’t just join a gym, start running, or take up a dance class? The excuses follow shortly: people will know I’m a fraud; I’m not fit enough to do push-ups; and I don’t even really like to dance! Sadly, this is when you stop daydreaming and let out your sucked-in stomach, shout for the approaching ice-cream man, scoff down a double helping of choc chip soft serve, and fall asleep on a bench. The next time this happens, find yourself empowered instead with this list of 4 Ways to Eliminate Excuses and Start Getting Fit.
You know you want it. That’s the truth of it. You want to get fit. If you want something, all self-help gurus agree, you get up off the couch and take it. The motivation for getting fit could be anything – looking better, feeling better, being more physical – just get a reason, and hold onto it like a torch in the darkness of unhealthiness and slightly-chubbiness.
Feel like a fraud? Guess what? That dreaded feeling of inadequacy and self-doubt that haunts you has a name – it’s called Impostor Syndrome, and is surprisingly common. If this is what’s keeping you out of that dance class or yoga session, just keep repeating to yourself that you do belong. Remind yourself that most people feel this way, and that the only way to beat it is to keep going. Your mind can’t keep saying you don’t belong if you prove that you do!
Worried about performing? Most physical activities happen in competitive environments. This does wonders for some, but we can sometimes be so competitive that the thought of not being able to keep up with the best, holds us back from even trying. If you’re new to an activity, chances are you’re going to be struggling with the fundamentals for a while before toying with the idea of turning professional. It’s important to keep in mind that, in almost everything, you have to crawl before you can walk. Sprinting takes a little bit longer. But if you never try, you’ll never sprint.
Forget about getting fit at home before getting fit. A common fear for starting something active – joining that Crossfit class or starting at a hockey club – is that you’re simply not fit enough. Those athletes performing superhero feats started the same way – concerned that any form of running would result in a stitch, shin splints and an overwhelming urge to inspect the breakfast you had this morning. This is your mind trying to fool you into putting it off, because it knows it’s not going to change anything. Joining up forces you into a cycle of fitness that will hurt a little at first (correction – it’s going to hurt a lot), but will most likely keep you motivated because you’ve got people counting on you, and you’re already over the hard part anyway.
Date Published: 07 June 2016