There are two doors that can lead to living a fitness lifestyle. The front door and the back door. From a distance, the front door is the glamorous door. You can almost hear the music and see people inside looking happy when you walk by. There seems to be some type of party going on and you’re more than a little curious. There are a lot of attractive looking people inside and you’re not sure if you measure up, but it sure looks like a fun place to be. When someone waves for you to come in and join them, you at first look around to make sure they are talking to you. As you slowly approach, you are drawn in even deeper. Once inside, you still don’t know if you fit in, but you’re exactly where you want to be.
The back door is not so glamorous. You don’t see a party or hear any music. You recall walking right past the front door once or twice, not really sure what was going on inside. It did interest you, but you had so many other things pulling at you, dropping into a party didn’t seem like a good choice. So you just kept walking. You simply didn’t know enough about what was inside and all that it could do for you. You simply didn’t know how badly you needed to be in there.
Once you’ve been inside the front door for awhile, the glamour starts to fade. Things didn’t happen as fast as you thought they might. You never did quite become one of the beautiful people. Or maybe you realized that you were always one of them. You’ve realized that this new place called fitness has given you a lot of things that you never expected. It certainly didn’t make you better than anyone, but it definitely helped you to see yourself in the better light. You feel differently and more positive than before. You’ve discovered a new sense of purpose and self-respect. You are more hopeful of the possibility of good things continuing to finding you. You see people walking by outside and you wave for them to come in and join you. You want them to know that they are just like you and can find what you’ve found in this place that has room for so many more.
Walking into the back door often happens from necessity. You have come to a point that you needed to make a change and that change is vital. Inside that door is a chance to recapture some aspects of your life and health that you never planned to lose, but did. You were not taught how important you were, and how critical it was to take better care of yourself. You never learned that you needed to invest in yourself in order to keep having and helping the things and people in your life that were so important to you. You didn’t understand that by not prioritizing taking care of yourself, you would someday have to fight just to have the chance to keep on fighting. The back door is not a glamorous place to walk through, but it is no less special and no less magical. Once inside, you feel more hopeful and understand that you are giving yourself a new and better future.
People come to fitness at different times and for different reasons. The earlier you come, the better it can be for you. But that’s not always possible. The important thing is to still come. To still understand that you are important and that this is an important thing for you to do. That you can still get incredible things in the place called fitness. And that you are always, ALWAYS welcome!
Photo: Terry Goodlad