By now, many people will have made — and perhaps broken — a New Year’s resolution or two. As a Type A, goal-oriented person, I made my list. And as a human with shortcomings and imperfections, I’m struggling to get on board with a couple of them.
I don’t profess to be an elite athlete or an expert in any field. I’m just another person on the planet trying to get through life the best I can. Although I worked out off and on after a 4-year stint in the Navy, it wasn’t until I turned 50 that I got serious about fitness. My mother was dying of lung cancer and my in-laws were not aging well. I didn’t want to be like them. Fortunately, I saw an ad for an early morning boot camp class.
I learned a lot from Kevin the six years I took his class. I switched to CrossFit in 2013 and along the way, took up running. Last winter my goal was to improve my swimming so I could compete in the Wood River Triathlon. Results were “meh” so I’m back at it this month.
I share this not to get kudos — there are lots of people out there who deserve as much or more — but to encourage you to get or keep moving.
Diehards out there will scoff at “globo-gyms,” or scorn those who don’t follow their own preferred sport. I’m of a different mindset. I believe that anything that gets people off the couch is a step in the right direction. Practicing tai chi and yoga provides health benefits just as running three miles does. Different benefits, but different doesn’t mean wrong. Unless you’re doing Ashtanga yoga, yoga won’t be a good aerobic choice but the slower movements can keep an arthritic person mobile.
Back to those resolutions we made Jan. 1.
Did you take a hard look at your lifestyle in late December and decide you needed to: lose weight, quit sugar, drink more water, hit the gym several days a week and meditate daily? All great goals but if you tried to do that all at once, no doubt you’re back to square one. Before you make (or restart) your lifestyle changes, here are a couple points that may help you succeed.
Try not to have regrets for what you did or didn’t do in the past. Regrets are a waste of emotional and spiritual energy. The only direction from here is forward.
I admire the parents of young children I work out or run with. They’re setting a great example, showing their kids how important exercise is. It isn’t easy and I didn’t do that myself. My consolation is that I’m showing my adult kids that it’s never too late to start. I ran my first half marathon at age 55, but there are folks a lot older than me competing.
Get rid of the naysayers in your life.
If your spouse or significant other keeps saying you’ll never lose weight, get fit, get healthy, try to figure out why. Are they jealous of your success? Are they afraid you’ll leave them? Knowing why can help you allay their concerns and maybe they’ll change their tune. I’m fortunate that my husband always supports me in my endeavors. I can’t get him to go for a walk with me, but he’ll gladly wait at the finish line and cheer me in.
If you can’t dump the ones who are undermining you, find support elsewhere.
When the going gets tough, you’ll need someone to hold you accountable while giving you the push you need. Find a local running club, hire a personal trainer or search for an online group.
Finally, remember this from Robert Collier: Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out.
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