Life Lessons Learned From Exercise
December is an especially reflective time for me between my birthday and the end of the year. I take this time to review my goals from the previous year and set new ones for the future. This habit has expended to all areas of my life, but it started with exercise goals. In fact, I continue to make new exercise goals continuously because they motivate the other areas of my life.
My goal today is to convince you to set & stick to an exercise goal for upcoming year. Don’t do it based on how you want to look, set the goal because of the person you will become in the process. In exercise and life, progress happens gradually and nothing teaches you that better than working towards a fitness goal.
Lessons exercise has taught me
- Follow a program: If you want to run a marathon you have to run, if you want to change the shape of your body, you have to workout and eat accordingly. Where you are now is a direct result of what you have be doing, if you want something different, find a plan that will get you there. There are millions of people who have achieved what you want and who can show you the way. Choose a goal, find a plan and execute. Your fitness plan will serve as great daily reminder that you need to take incremental steps every day to reach any goal.
- Be patient: No one wakes up one day and runs a marathon without any training, just like no one wakes up one day a millionaire, or in a good relationship all of these things take work. Training for a goal (like running a 5K, 10K, Marathon, etc) is a great way to remind yourself to be patient and put in the time.
- Be consistent: It is not always fun, but when it’s something you really want you will do what it takes to get there. Along with a good program and patience you need to be consistent in order to reach your goals. If you don’t put in the time you will not get the result. It is that simple.
My Previous Fitness Goals
- Be able to do 60 minutes on the elliptical without stopping ~Jan 2006 goal (this took me 6 months)
- Start a weight training program ~Jan 2006 (this was an assignment for a strength class that I HATED, when I started I would only go to the gym when it was empty because I was so embarrassed)
- Running a 5K ~Nov 2006
- Running 10K ~Nov 2008 (took 2 more years of running because of nagging shin splints)
- Running a 1/2 Marathon ~Nov 2009 & 2010 (took another year after the 10K)
- Doing the MS150 ~April 2010 (took 5 months of training from the first time I got on the bike to the time I finished the ride)
- Climb to the top of the rock wall at Lifetime Fitness (3 stories high- I am terrified of heights, but after 3 months I made it, I was shaking from fear, but I made it to the top)
- Doing a Chin Up from a hang position (…many years in the making… but I can finally do 1 now!)
- Doing Chaturanga Dandasana without putting my knees on the floor for an entire class (took about 3 years of consistent yoga practice 2-3 times per week, I had NO upper body strength when I started)
- Doing a controlled, effortless headstand (about 3 years at 2-3 yoga classes per week)
- See my Abs (…years… but about 2 months to get definition when I set my mind to it)
As you can see by my previous goals, you can use endurance races, weight lifting, yoga or any combination of the 3 to inspire your goals. Find a goal that motivates you and then find a plan to get you there. Once you reach your goal, CELEBRATE IT take a photo, finish your race, etc. then set a new goal. As you can see from my past goals, they have all built off of the first 2 goals which were to build some cardiovascular endurance and strength.
My Fitness Goals for 2014 & 2015
- Run the Great Wall Marathon (travel + fitness = awesome)
- Empire State Building Run Up (will be a challenge both physically & mentally ~ I am slightly claustrophobic so doing this would help me get past it)
- 2 Pull Ups from a hang position (want to continue building upper body strength)
- Controlled, middle of the floor Handstand (I have never been able to balance a handstand- this is a lifelong fitness goal)
- Crow Pose (always been a hard one for me)
- Ariel Trapeze class (remember my fear of heights? I want to get over it)
- Be able to do a back walk over (I think it would be a cool addition to a yoga flow & has always been something I have struggled with)
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