I am a person who exercises.
I never thought I would say that sentence.
I remember when my daughter was little, my husband invited her to watch a college basketball game with him. She sat and watched for a little while, and then she asked, “If you go to college, do they MAKE you do that?”
That was me and exercise. It was something I had to be forced to do. I ran track in high school, but I never actually liked it. It was something I did so I’d look “well-rounded” on my college applications.
But about a year and a half ago, I started doing taekwondo. My daughter had started a few months earlier and she really liked it. I had to drive her, so I saw every workout and it actually looked fun.
I gave it a try and I liked it!
So I started doing taekwondo 3-4 times a week. I noticed that on the days when I worked out I felt much better. I had more energy and I was in a better mood. I also liked sparring against my teenage daughter. 🙂
So I stuck with it!
The downside is that I got injured a few times – and the last injury was to my wrist, which made it hard for me to work for a few months.
I also couldn’t do taekwondo while it was healing. And then when I was ready to come back, Jo was injured and I didn’t make the time to go on my own.
I thought I had built a good habit – I wanted to exercise regularly – but I wasn’t doing it.
Do you have something you wish you were doing that you just. . . aren’t?
Maybe you wish you read more, or cooked more, or quilted more – but you just never seem to make it a priority?
I remembered this post that Abby Glassenberg wrote a long time ago, about how she made exercise a part of her life. Such good advice! She wrote it about exercise and I used it for exercise – but it applies to anything you want to make a habit.
Abby identified specific problems – the reasons she wasn’t running – and found a solution to each of them.
So I did the same thing.
I realized that I liked working out, but I didn’t especially love taekwondo. In fact, I didn’t love the precision needed, and memorizing the forms. My favorite classes were when we played games.
So I looked for a workout where I would be moving, but not in a specific way. No Zumba, where just as soon as I figure out what we’re doing, they change to something else. 😛
Dance. I wanted to dance.
Ok. When? And where?
I really didn’t like going to work out in the middle of the day. It meant showering twice and changing clothes what felt like a million times a day. Also, going to a set class run by someone else meant I needed to get there early to stow my gear, stretch and loosen up. And there was driving time there and back. It ended up being a big chunk of my day! It was worth it, but if I could get a workout with less transit time, that would be better.
I also didn’t like driving there and back. I’ve been trying to walk to as much as possible (bank, library, post office, grocery store, etc.) so I thought about trying to find something within walking distance of my house.
But I feel dorky when I work out. I’m not very coordinated. I like to dance, but I don’t want anyone to see me dance. 🙂 I could get over it (I did with taekwondo) but I knew I’d enjoy it more if I did it at home, by myself.
I tried a bunch of different dancy/workout classes on YouTube and finally settled on Body Groove. I liked it so much that I bought a full year of her on-demand service with TONS of different videos.
Now I don’t work out 3-4 times a week. I work out every single day! And I love it!
I roll out of bed in the morning before anyone else is up, throw on my workout clothes, and turn on the TV. I choose a workout and I dance for 30 minutes, until I’m sweating and breathing hard and tired – but also energized. I’ve also built some special 30 minute playlists so I can dance to my own music using the moves I’ve learned in the classes.
I’m healthier, my energy levels are great, I start my day in a good mood – and it’s all because I figured out a way to get past all the little reasons that were keeping me from doing a thing I actually wanted to do.
Use Abby’s method and figure out how to make time for the thing you actually want to do. 🙂
Maybe it’s stitching. 🙂