I’m a sucker for firsts, so when I hear stories of our Members unearthing their ‘fitness freak’ within for the very first time, I get a bit emotional. Maybe this is you I’m talking about, where for the first time in your life, you are moving more than ever, have taken to wearing Lycra in public, or have even joined a gym? Woot!
No Easy Street
Taking those first steps into the big unknown for our first-time exercisers can be more than daunting. It can be utterly terrifying! Not to sugarcoat the journey either – it’s HARD work! Nothing about building up your fitness, strength and endurance from scratch is easy, and it’s all the more difficult when your body isn’t used to it. Not only are you dealing with the protests from every body part, your mind is shooting off a million excuses why you should throw in the towel … like NOW! The body is confused and feeling betrayed. It’s probably thinking, when normality to me is to do NOTHING, why should I start this uncomfortable, sweaty journey now?
Making Moving Your Norm
A sedentary lifestyle is a MASSIVE hurdle to overcome, and I’m in awe of those who succeed in changing their own sedentary lifestyle for a fitter, healthier and happier alternative. I sometimes need to put on my big girl panties if I need to smash out an intense training session as well, but I have a distinct advantage here because moving lots is MY ‘norm’. I’ve always had days crammed full of activity, and as grateful as I am for that now, I can’t take any credit for it.
It Didn’t Start with Me
I can now see how the forced play outside (as in, “Get outside you lot and PLAY! NOW!”), those ‘boring’ family weekend hikes, and the endless hours of training as a kid has influenced me as an adult. I now have a passion for the outdoors and a desire to conserve our natural environment; an active imagination, quiet confidence in my capabilities, and meaningful friendships; a steely mindset which has served me well in work and play; and an association to a sporting code which now my own children have fallen in love with. I realise now it was in fact my parents, siblings, coaches, friends, teachers and even complete strangers who showed me that not only do we have it within us to create change in our own lives, but we ALL have the ability to change other people’s lives for the better too!
Be the Change You Want to See
I believe if we’ve been lucky enough to discover the benefit of a healthier and fitter lifestyle as an adult, then it’s our job in society to educate our younger ones. A fit and healthy childhood smooths the way to exercising in later years and also reduces the risk of adult obesity and associated health concerns. So let the kids kick off their shoes and climb trees! If they love a sport, do your bit to support them. Let them see you run, jump, dance and sweat – and do it often. Show them that it’s perfectly normal adult behaviour! Buy the balls, bikes, skateboards and scooters instead of the gaming devices and i-thingies. Let loose those reins a little and watch them flourish!
Giving Kids the Best Gift
Encouraging activity in kids is not about counting calories and weighing-in, it’s about allowing these little people to discover what they’re capable of. It’s about giving them the opportunity to build the fitness, strength, coordination, mobility, endurance, stickability, a team-player mentality and confidence, which will benefit them in all areas of their life in years to come.
Create the change in yourself first then BE the inspiration for others. A drop in the ocean creates many ripples, and it begins with YOU!