It's too time-consuming. It's an exercise fad. I'm too old to start. My family will feel neglected. It's too cold; it's too hot. I'm slower than my toddler taking his first steps.
Those were some of my favorite excuses. My mind was made up. The "0.0" sticker was already in my shopping cart. But I knew I couldn't be dead set against something I had never really tried.
Many months and even more miles later, I was hooked. I wasn't even sure how it happened, but when I finally looked back, I saw something.
I immediately started comparing myself to her. I wasn't prettier than her, and I wasn't even skinnier than her. But I was happier. I was better.
Maybe you've tried running, and it wasn't for you. Perhaps playing ball with the guys only highlights your un-coordination. The best part of staying fit is finding something that fits you. So here's how running or yoga or cross-fit or whatever becomes your newfound niche will make you better.
To become better at anything, you need to make progress. And to make any sort of progress, you need to set a goal. My first goal as a runner was to run a 5K. If you are just starting out, keep your goals simple. Take your kids on a jog around the block, or enjoy an evening walk with your spouse. Set that example for your loved ones to stay fit and active. Creating and accomplishing goals as a family unites and strengthens that bond. And the best thing about checking off one goal — you get to create a new one. Whether it be distance, pace or stamina, it's great competing against yourself and seeing your personal growth.
The happy drug
There will be good runs, and there will be bad runs. But no matter how bad a run may be, I've noticed one constant: The runner's high. No matter how fast your heart is racing or how much your muscles ache when you finish you feel incredible. It is simply exhilarating. Call me addicted, call me a junkie, but the more you feel that serotonin pumping through your veins, the more you will crave it.
Physical + mental strength
Seeing and feeling the evidence of your progress is such an accomplishment. Not only will you improve physically, but your mental stamina will greatly increase. When I started running, I knew it would be hard. There are days I want to stay in bed, hide, and even quit. Parents, does this sound familiar? When I became a mother, I knew it would be hard. There are days I want to stay in bed, hide, and even quit. But my kids make me stronger. They are more than worth it. So, I remember my kids. Endurance requires you to dig deep to truly find that "will" that you never knew you had. And once you access that, you'll do things you never thought you could.