I didn’t find fitness until I was in my 20’s. When I first started lifting weights and somewhat consistently going to the gym, I lacked a long-term outlook. I didn’t know if I was going to be working out for a week, a month, a year, or longer. I was trying it out and seeing if I liked it. For the next five years I went through a cycle of working out for several months and then taking several months off. I was seeing results but resetting so often that they never amounted to anything. The littlest bump in the road, a cold, a busy day, or just being lazy would get back into the routine of not regularly exercising and it would often take months for me to get going again.
Eventually I was fortunate enough to find CrossFit. It sounded like a crazy and extreme exercise program so I committed to a week. A week went by and I was enjoying so I said I was only going to do it for a month because once school started I would be too busy to do CrossFit. Too busy to exercise? Turns out I was really enjoying it and I kept going once school started.
A year later I realized I had made it a full year of consistent exercise and I was experiencing the best results I had ever felt. Was it because I was doing CrossFit? Partially, but realistically it was more about consistently exercising for a year than the actual program. CrossFit has changed my life and I have been fortunate enough to see it change many others but it’s not the only way.
Fast forward another year and I was still regularly exercising, still experiencing results, and for the first time in my life I realized exercise and fitness is going to be a part of my life for the rest of my life. I was enjoying exercise. As someone who grew up being very active playing sports but also worked hard to avoid lifting weights and traditional exercise, this was hard for me to believe. My mindset had changed.
We need exercise and good movement until the day we die. People that we admire in their 70’s, 80’s, and even 90’s that are still taking care of themselves are often doing this because they never stopped being active.
My thing has been CrossFit, it can be yours too, but it doesn’t have to be. There are so many options out there and they all can work. Find something that you look forward to and enjoy. Wait a minute, find an exercise I enjoy? Now you think I am crazy.
Zumba, Yoga, Pilates, Barry’s Bootcamp, Obstacle racing and many more. There are countless options out there and if you think none of them are for you, then I am going to suggest you aren’t doing it in the right environment. My wife and I own a gym full of people that didn’t think they would look forward to the gym and now they do. It is because they are exercising with a group of people that are supportive, encouraging, and most importantly fun!
Your environment matters. It will be the difference between showing up consistently and going through the vicious cycle of on again off again that I experienced early in my journey too. Find a group, find a gym, find a friend if you aren’t interested in the gym. We all need help, accountability and someone else to go through this journey with. Join my gym, another gym, if you can do it on your own then go for it. Just get going and have the mindset that you will be doing this for years to come. Make your decisions based on the fact that you are going to be a lifelong mover.