Tuesday, February 7, 2012

In the Middle of a Group of Fit is Not Always the Best Place for a Wanna Be Fit


I hope this blog encourages people to get out and move in whatever way they want. I hear a lot of people say, “I always wanted to start running. But I think I should lose weight first.” or some other version of the same sentiment. It usually opens with a desire of athleticism and ends with an ironic reason why they can’t. 

Why wait? Running may help you lose weight. Don’t you see that? Or maybe these people just need an excuse not to change. 

Some other things I’ve heard: 
“I’d like to start a walking program. But I have asthma.”        

“I’d like to exercise more but I have a heart condition.”

I am very sure if any of these people talked to their doctors and said, “I’d like to start a walking program but I’m worried about my asthma.” or “I’d like to exercise but I’m worried about my heart.”, their doctors would have them on an acceptable program before they left the office. 

I mean really have you ever heard of a doctor telling someone they shouldn’t exercise? Ever? I highly doubt it. Even with my past running injuries my doctor didn’t tell me not to exercise. In fact, he prescribed MORE exercise! And different exercise. Biking instead of running for the first couple weeks while I ADDED strength training exercises. 

So to tell me you can’t pursue activity for any reason doesn’t hold water with me. Maybe you can’t climb Mt. Everest. But you can do something and boy will you love it once you get in the ‘groove’. Seriously, when you get into an activity you’ve always wanted to try but never made the change, you will feel like a badass! You’ll wonder why you waited so long to start. 

I heard a new reason that can make it hard to get started on a new activity and I could relate to this one!

This weekend at our first team run for Team In Training a couple teammates and I were talking about our performance on the course that day. (As usual, I was the last runner in). One of the gals said that her house is full of fit people and she feels like she can’t keep up. They’ll invite her on runs or other activities and she’ll decline because she knows she can’t keep up with their level. 

“Yeah,” said another teammate. “And I don’t want to hold them back. You know? Like I’ll tell them to go ahead. But someone will stay behind and I hate the feeling that they are holding back because of me.”

That’s exactly how I feel! I think a lot of my running is solo just because I don’t want to lower someone’s training intensity because they’d feel bad ‘leaving me behind’. I HATE the thought of someone lowering their performance because I can’t keep up. (This doesn’t keep me from getting out. I’ll still go out on my own. But I am slow to take peoples’ invitation to join them for runs). 

But is it our responsibility to ensure they are training at a certain level? Of course not. If they want to hang with you let them. Sometimes they want an excuse to scale back. We all need an easy day here and there.

So if someone says, “Come on out with us. I’ll hang with you.”  I recommend making it clear that you don’t expect them to stay with you.  Then, if they do, don’t feel bad about it. It’s their choice.  And one caution; while it’s good to push yourself a little, be careful about your pace. Because no matter what you are doing, walking, running, biking hiking, swimming, if you are too fast in the beginning you risk running out of steam before the activity is over. So keep your eye on that. Go the pace you need to go and let them decide to stick with you or go on. 

So, no excuses right? I’m curious. What’s the craziest excuse you’ve heard somebody use to not take up an activity they say they want to do? (It’s ok, you don’t have to admit if it’s your excuse). :) I’m interested to hear what the craziest excuse will be. Please leave a comment and let us know.  

1 comment:

Kris said...

Good advice. Some people don't feel the need to push 100% of the time. Sometimes it's nice to take in the scenery. Or sometimes, taking in the scenery is actually a lot harder for the "fit" person than you think. Your pace is not as bad as you think.

I'm sure this isn't the craziest excuse I've ever heard, but I always like the excuse "But I can't run in the rain.". It's sunny about 355 days out of the year here. Running in the rain should be a treat for everyone. It's really fun, and you have an excuse to jump in puddles. :)