Have you always been active? Not me. I was the girl curled up in the corner reading a book whenever I had a chance.
Don’t get me wrong I played outside as a kid. Playtime was just about the only form of entertainment we had other than very limited television options and my beloved books. I rode bikes, went swimming and walked to school. I also enjoyed recess which was spent playing dodge ball, tetherball and other active games.
Learning to Dislike Exercise
So when did exercise and activity become something I dreaded? It was middle school.
Middle school was when we first had physical education with a dedicated teacher and had to wear uniforms. It also involved undressing in the locker room in front of 30 other girls and even taking showers in a common area. Can you imagine something more stressful to girls that are already insecure about their changing bodies?
Physical education was now about competition and being good at something versus just having fun moving around. After that I played on a girl’s softball team during the summer and then later played on the volleyball team in High School one year.
The next time I purposely exercised when in the military when it was required. I exercised on my own throughout my military career of 14 years with running and aerobics. After my first marriage ended there wasn’t time with two kids, a full time job and school.
For several years I did nothing and then I got into walking and walked the 2001 then-named San Diego Marathon. I used walking and hiking as my main exercise off and on (mostly off) for the next 11 years.
I knew I had to include strength training as well after last year’s injury. After 2 1/2 months of my new exercise plan, it’s fun again. I love pilates (except for the two things I hate about it :))and walking. It feels like playtime when I pop in an exercise DVD or video game.
My key learnings during this journey are:
- You don’t have to be great at any one thing to make it fun and rewarding
- Keep trying new activities until you find the ones that work for you
What has your relationship been with exercise and what did you learn?