The first part of the New Year is when it really kicks up in the fitness industry. People who haven’t worked out for months join with people who are excited to start a new lifestyle. The energy and activity is at a peak, but the crowds may create a few “hurry up and wait” moments in terms of equipment.
Here’s the big secret. If you want to be successful in fitness then you have to adopt the attitude that nothing is going to stop you. I don’t mean in a “tough guy” sense. I mean in a “life is too short to sweat the small stuff” sense. If you expect that sometimes things won’t go the way you’d like, and also that it’s still going to be OK, then you remove a lot of pressure and unpleasantness from many situations.
Whether you’re in a gym that’s completely empty or so packed you can barely move, you still can get the same level of training done. You can’t let either scenario bother you. If it’s crowded, then you feed off the energy. If it’s dead, then you create the energy. If you’re not able to do that then you have to mentally shut out whatever is around you to the degree that it doesn’t matter. It’s not fatal if you have to wait a bit longer, do a different exercise than you planned, or change the order of your program. It won’t hurt your training to share equipment or say hello to a few old friends you haven’t seen in awhile. You have to learn to enjoy the journey.
Probably my biggest advantage is that I’ve been able to enjoy the process of trying to get better. The anticipation of the workout, that last sip of my pre workout drink, the drive or walk to the gym when I’m putting the rest of the world out of my mind. All of those things have become comfortably familiar. This familiarity helps me become more self aware and helps to bring my focus from wherever it was into the workout I’m about to do. Working out is a great way to get centered, to reset your life’s button on positive. To do something physical that balances out how draining being too mental can be.
Training can be hard but doing something that’s hard can give you a feeling of accomplishment. Eating right can be a challenge but overcoming challenges can feel rewarding. Imagine feeling accomplished and rewarded everyday? Now add to that getting healthier and more fit with better energy and lowered stress. That’s what I get from this lifestyle journey that anyone else can also find.
If you find yourself up in weight from some of the holiday foods, that’s ok. Know that it’s just a matter of putting enough good days together. No need for self punishment, just better diet focus. Time is your friend. It’s time to refocus on where you want to go and head in that direction, one step at a time.
Photo: Terry Goodlad Model: Valorie Annunziata