When, as a personal trainer, I hated exercise....

So I want to talk a little about joy and passion. To do that I wanted to share a little about my journey in health and wellness. So I worked as a personal trainer at a corporate gym for years. As a personal trainer, I felt it was my obligation to look a certain way (chiseled jaw, chiseled body, rock hard abs, biceps bulging out of my shirt, you know the look). And don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with that. A lot of people have worked very hard to get to that point and sacrificed quite a bit. I don't know their story, so I can't speak to where they are coming from or what drives them. I can speak to my own journey though. Sometimes in the midst of everything we forget why we started. We can forget why we are doing what we are doing. We can lose the enjoyment and the fun of living life well and moving and being active. This is what happened to me. I fell into a mold of what I thought I "should" look like.

So I stacked on the heavy weights and I changed the exercises that I used because I thought I "should". Then one day I came to realization that I hated my workouts. What used to be fun for me and enjoyable had become a chore. It had become something that I dreaded, something that didn't fit me. I had to take a step back and I asked myself, "Where did you lose the enjoyment of exercise?" I thought back and I realized it was when I stopped playing sports.

"That's it!" I thought. "It was when I stopped playing." 

Growing up I loved playing pretty much every sport that I could get my hands on. It made me feel so alive. I loved the challenge. I loved developing myself and my skills and I loved playing with my team.

So I decided to find my love again. I put down the heavy weights and I picked up my bike. I began riding it to work everyday. I called it my convertible (you know, the top down, wind blowing through my hair, dog salivating on the pedestrians) [I didn't really have the dog with me, though that probably would have been funny]. I got into rock climbing. I loved the challenge of competing against myself to climb higher or do more difficult routes. I switched all of my workouts to bodyweight gymnastic style workouts that focused on flexibility, balance, strength, and endurance. I started playing again.

It was crazy because I felt like I wasn't working as hard, I was enjoying everything more, and I got the best results that I ever have in my life. I felt amazing! I was proud of how I looked and moved. And all of that was because I found my joy again.

Contrast that with the culture and mindset surrounding fitness and health. We have come to believe that if we don't leave the gym as a sweaty mess then it was not a good workout. We think that if we are not I-can't-get-out-of-bed-sore then we didn't accomplish anything, and that simply is not the case. So try this, this week. 

Ask yourself what movement or activity do I enjoy doing?

That could be walking, it could be hiking, it could be getting your Zumba on, it could be tenuously attempting to balance on one leg while you try to stretch some muscle that feels like it has never been stretched with a little yoga. Find what you enjoy and put that into your workout plan.

Now, I realize that not everyone may like exercise, or any form of activity actually. And I also realize that you have to sometimes do things that are uncomfortable or cause you discomfort. But I feel like there is a lot more joy to be found out there than people realize. And you, over time, believe or not, can learn to enjoy things that previously weren't very appealing to you. 

So find your joy this week.

Comment below on some of the activities that you enjoy doing!

P.S. If you would like to rediscover your joy in health and your body email me. (Info@thriveculturecoaching.com)