Monday, November 26, 2007

And Snap! The Job's a Game!

The hardest part about sports and fitness is deciding what you like to do.

Think about it: you will not continue with an activity if you do not enjoy it, no matter how "useful" or "rewarding" it is supposed to be. If it's not fun, it's not worth your time.

But how do you decide what you like? Try it all. Sign up for tester or sample classes, no matter how weird the activity sounds. If it interests you, give it a fair shake. Only once you've tried it can you decide you don't like it.

While I now know my first love is running, I didn't always know that. In junior high, I was subject to oodles of sports I could cross off my list:
  • basketball (the hoop was way too high for this vertically challenged person)
  • volleyball (how do other people manage to volley in the direction of the net?)
  • tennis (tiny ball, small racket: need I say more?)
  • badminton (see reference to tennis above, but add a giggle when thinking about the word "shuttlecock")
When I finally got to sports I liked, it was hard to choose the final one. I was on the eighth grade soccer team but discovered long distance running in high school. I stayed with it for years, took time off in college (when the dogs would let me) then started up again soon after beginning my life in the workaday world.

So, I found out what I liked to do. Then came the question: when?

I never thought I couldn't exercise while working for a living. Time might have been at a premium and my schedule prevented it for a while, but I figured the opportunity would arise. After all, my dad ran every day at lunch for decades — so what was my excuse? Being winded after walking up one of the steepest staircases in the Metrorail system was my anti-excuse.

Now, I try other things from time to time. When the weather is bad or when I want to give my spine or neck a rest from its daily five-mile pounding, I climb on the stairclimber or the elliptical. I have tried zumba (very cool!) and bellydancing (very fun!), kickboxing (which threw out my back, bless its heart) and step aerobics (snoozeville).

So find something that you find fun and use that as your excuse to get fit. Chances are, you'll succeed if you enjoy what you're doing.

- Chris

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