Author: Mike Inglis
Maintaining our health and fitness takes real work...but that doesn't mean that it has to be unenjoyable! A recent experience reminded me that work with a purpose can turn your work into a joy.
A Rough Morning
In the dark, I hear my alarm go off and I turn over and look blearily at the time. It's 4:30am and I've got to get up. Usually it's not a big deal....I just get up, don't think about it too much, and it's all good. It's a ritual that I go through every Monday and Friday as I help train the 5:30am classes. But this particular morning, I woke up feeling like I had JUST gone to sleep and hadn't had ANY rest at all. I was exhausted and not terribly happy!
I struggled out of bed and did a mental check of myself. I knew that if I ignored how I felt, didn't acknowledge it, that I'd end up feeling a general malaise for the rest of the day. From past experience I knew that if I didn't find the joy in this day, negativity would predominate in my mind and spill over into the class I taught and the interactions I would have with clients, friends, and family for the rest of the day.
So I started thinking about why I was getting up in the first place, how temporary this discomfort would be, and how happy it makes me to help bring everyone else up with positive energy. I gradually adjusted my attitude and thoughts. I was able to move myself from grumpiness and exhaustion to gratitude and positive vibes and then cheerfully go and teach class.
Not Easy....But Very Fulfilling
Now I'm not always successful at doing this. But it is a great reminder that in so many areas of our lives, if we can just find the joy in what we're doing and why we're doing it, success would follow us around life like a faithful dog, even on the tough days, never leaving our side.
In fitness, we don't call it "Work"ing out for nothing. It takes effort to get moving. It takes time to be consistent. It challenges your body to perform activities that you don't normally do in a day. It challenges your mind to push itself beyond "limits" you have imposed upon it.
This all sounds very hard and uncomfortable, doesn't it? Well it is...and this fact is what causes many people from ever consistently maintaining a fitness routine. The fear of that uncomfortable place overwhelms their minds and they run away as fast as they can.
This Is Not A Nice-To-Have
But this is a tragedy of HUGE proportions! The immediate fear of discomfort and inconvenience blinds us from the true purpose behind working out. When we truly accept that maintaining a healthy body is not a "nice to have" but a "must-have". When we realize that when we're healthy, we can be SO much better at helping those around us. We sleep better. We feel better. Our energy is higher throughout the day.
If this higher PURPOSE could be the focal point and driving factor, then all of a sudden our entire perspective changes. Where scheduling workouts used to be an inconvenient annoyance, it now becomes as high a priority as when we'll eat our next meal. Where having our breath quickening used to be uncomfortable, it now becomes a JOY because you feel alive and strong! Where having our hearts pounding used to just give us a headache, we now feel the power and vitality that our blood thundering through our veins brings to us!
It's Who We Are
The human body is MEANT to move! And when our perspective and actions are aligned with our higher purpose of staying healthy and being present for our families and friends for a long time to come, we will find that what used to be fearful, uncomfortable drudgery truly transforms into a positive, life-affirming joy. The ability to make this mindset shift lies within all of us. My sincere hope is that this is, or soon will be, how you view your health and fitness. Now get moving! :)