As we get older, we can very easily become fixated on this idea that fitness has to be hard work. It has to take place in a gym or other confined space, it has to have a purpose. And as such, it can seem a pretty daunting prospect. What if I don’t enjoy it? What if I’m no good? What if… What if… What if…
How about we look at it from a different angle? When you were little, I will hazard a guess you played outside a lot. You rushed about the place. You created games that were full of physical activity. Maybe you loved playing Tag or Kiss Chase, perhaps you were more of a pretend horses type, you could have chosen handstands and cartwheels. Whichever you spent hours of play time doing, I’ll guarantee you now that if you go and try it you’ll realise how exhausting it is!
When we’re little we don’t worry about being fit or not, we just do what is fun. How about we bring that attitude into adult life? How about we step away from fitness plans and gyms and we just do what we enjoy?
I bet if you were to make a list of all the active passtimes you enjoyed as a child you’d find some sort of common theme that you could extricate and use as an adult in your activity.
For me, I have great memories of loving hanging upside down on those rings in the park and playing on the monkey bars. Can I do that now? Not a chance! But I’m working on it. I’m working on getting stronger so I can do that sort of thing again, because I loved it.
As a child I didn’t love running. Not one bit. I have clear memories of school cross country. Pure hell. It took me until my mid 30s to give running a chance. And, yep, I’m still pretty rubbish at it. The difference now is that I enjoy the feeling of getting outdoors and filling my lungs, and I’m never competing against anyone else. Also there’s never a PE teacher shouting at me!
So, look to what you loved as a child, but don’t write off everything you hated – establish WHY you hated it, and remove that aspect (the PE teacher is pretty easy to remove as an adult!).