As a triathlete, I spend a lot of time running, cycling and swimming. When I first started competing, I loved it. Over the past few months, training has started to feel a little like a chore. I am sure everyone reading can relate -- workouts can get boring. In fact, many people probably feel that exercise is just one more thing they have to check off their "to do" list.
The thing is, I don't think exercise has to be, or should be, boring, or tedious or a chore!! Call me a fitness nerd, but I believe that movement has the potential to be empowering and enjoyable!
About a week ago I decided I needed to try something new to help get myself out of my fitness rut. I went to a boxing class. It did the trick. It put a giant smile on my face. After the class I felt energized and accomplished (as I always do post workout). More importantly, I had fun.
The joy I got from taking the boxing class made me decide to embark on a month long fitness challenge! I am working towards a personal fitness renaissance, and it would be great is if people who read my blog share the experience and also work towards their own fitness renaissance. Who knows, maybe this challenge will even help motivate non exercisers to have a few fitness adventures. A trainer can dream!
The goal: to complete one 'exercise adventure' a day for a month. (Side note: Readers who are familiar with my blogs know that I love goals and challenges that last a month. I find a month is a perfect amount of time. It is long enough that I feel the impact of the change, but short enough that I am not overwhelmed).
The "adventure" doesn't have to be big. It can be as simple as trying a new exercise, picking a new running route, going to an new exercise class, or doing a few extra repetitions of an exercise I already do. The "adventure" doesn't even have to take place during a gym workout: I could try a new sport, or go on an active date with my boyfriend.
The only rule: the "adventure" must be novel! (For example, I don't have to ditch running, I just have to change something about my run).
My adventures so far:
Day One: I did the "extreme boxing conditioning" class I mentioned above. It was so satisfying to punch a bag and get all my aggression out!
Day Two: I challenged myself to take my own advice. I teach my clients who run that training legs, especially glutes, is important. So, on day number two, my adventure was to concentrate on strengthening my glutes. I paid particular attention to using my glutes during my squat. (I have terrible squat form. Since I tend not to do things I hate, it never get better. Hence the challenge).
Day Three: I went to my very first Zumba class. I had a smile on my face the ENTIRE time!! I have always made fun of my mom for doing Zumba, but I have to eat my words because the class was awesome.
Day Four: during my interval workout on the bike, I increased my target watage to the highest it has ever been. Hard, but satisfying.
Day Five: I went to a Ballet Bar class. I have done Ballet Bar before, but I never get to go as often as I like because I always prioritize running and cycling. On day five, I decided to prioritize Ballet. This was kind of a cheating since I have done this class before, but it was a new instructor, so I am going to count it.
Day Six and Seven: I was up north and went for two beautiful runs. On day six, I left my running watch at home. Anyone who knows me knows that for me, leaving my watch at home is a big deal for me. I always run with my watch. Leaving it behind helped me enjoy running for its own sake rather than worrying about how fast or how far I was going. On day seven I left my watch and my iPod at the farm. I love music, and will probably continue to run with music in the future, but I am very glad I had this experience. Running in the snow. Surrounded by silence. Listening to myself breathe. It was almost meditative.
I would love if readers join me on this fitness adventure. Its all about re-framing the exercise experience to make working out exciting and fun instead of a chore. Feel free to keep your adventures private, or, post examples of your "adventures" on my Facebook wall.
I want to know how everyone is doing. If we all share our adventures, we can inspire each other. In three weeks, once I am done my month challenge, I will blog about my adventures. Plus, I will try and post my adventures on Facebook so everyone can see how I am doing.