I have been on quite the fitness journey over the last five or so years. I have gone from being and avid runner to being an avid weight lifter and then back to avid runner and then back to weightlifting and then back to running and weightlifting. Whoo! It is exhausting just to read that sentence let alone process all the changes. Well, here’s a monkey wrench for you. Now, I am loving swimming laps at our local YMCA that has an indoor pool.
There was a time when I was very “all or nothing” about my view of fitness. If I was in a weight lifting phase then it was weightlifting and nothing else. There is nothing wrong with being dedicated and committed to what you love but I wouldn’t cross-train and honestly thought weightlifting was the one and only way to be fit. I had the same attitude about running when I was in a running phase (quite a few times). I would run and run and run or lift and lift and lift at the exclusion of other things until I would burn out or get injured.
As I am getting older, I am finding my “all or nothing” attitude about fitness is really starting to mellow out. I am just as dedicated to keeping a fit lifestyle. I train just as much as I always have.
My focus has just evolved. My goals have changed.
I would once set extremely lofty goals (ex. run a marathon, compete in a powerlifting meet, compete in figure, etc. ) and when I wouldn’t achieve those goals I would take it as failure and totally hate myself for it. Those are all very good goals to have and I have the utmost respect for those who have them and achieve them. I just had an unhealthy focus. I put my personal value in achieving them. Not good.
I think the best way to sum up my relationship with fitness now is that I have totally “Chilled Out.”
The passion is still there.
I still depend on movement for my physical and emotional health.
I am just much kinder to my mental state and to my body.
I create or follow workout programs but I am not married to them.
There are days when I just need to be out in the sunshine. So, I go for a run. My lifting routine can wait a day. Sometimes, I just need silence and rhythm. So, I go to the indoor pool for a nice, long session of lap swimming. And some days I just need to lift something super heavy. So, I hit the weights.
The difference here is that I know that fitness is a lifelong lifestyle. If I want to focus on swimming for awhile, that is okay. Running and weights are not going anywhere. They’ll be waiting patiently for me. The same goes for any other discipline I may choose to adopt be it yoga, crossfit, boxing, cycling, or whatever.
I also know that whatever I am focusing on needs to be complemented with other disciplines so as to offer cross training.
I train now because I crave movement. I can’t be sedentary. I want to live a healthy and active life until the day Jesus calls me home.
I often say, “The best workout is the one you will actually do.”
I am enjoying being more balanced in the journey that has no deadline.