Day 14 - Exercising Your Demons
How do you feel about exercise? Do you find it easy to be motivated and disciplined to be regularly active? I loved sport when I was at school - basketball, netball, badminton. As I grew up, I found it harder to join teams or stick to classes. I realise now that as I grow older and more comfortable in my own skin, I find different forms of exercise satisfying, and a regular routine isn't necessarily what serves me best. For this understanding, I am deeply grateful as it makes exercise and life in general far more enjoyable.
There is a whole sweetshop of barriers to exercise for us to choose from. Distance, time, confidence, motivation, discipline and perceived difficulty are just a few. Even if we're lucky enough to clear the first two by having a gym or centre on our doorstep and the freedom to pop off at our leisure, it still takes a magical blend of positive forces to break down the others. For years I found it really hard to be in a gym environment without comparing myself to the 'fittest, prettiest, teeniest' girls. And it didn't stop there. In exercise classes my inner critic was blaring out judgements about every little thing, right left and centre - my co-ordination, movement, speed, outfit, you name it, it wasn't good enough. I am so grateful to share that the loudest voice I hear when I am exercising tells me that I am honouring my body and I am doing really well. Sure I have my off days, but compared to the off days of my past, they're a walk in the flower-filled park!
In the same way that I recommended meditating in your own way on Day 6 (Meditation - Your Way Or The Highway), I have discovered that for me, allowing myself to roam free and explore which exercise forms, times, days and disciplines work for me makes it much easier to create a habit. Letting go of the inner voice that decrees the need to 'play hard' and stick to a strict regime was the best gift I could have given myself. It is an act of self-love, and one that is bringing me more happiness, and yes, fitness!
Enjoy exploring exercise that puts a smile on your face and in your muscles.