Feeling like an athlete at every size
You don’t have to look like an athlete to have the spirit of one.
I get incredibly frustrated by our media’s narrow representation of what it means to be fit and active. We witness stories of elite athletes crossing finish lines in unbelievably challenging events. We see photos of chiselled young women standing on their heads on Instagram. We read about Mums who run marathons weeks after giving birth. And we see celebrity trainers showing off their rippling abdominals and bulging biceps.
These stories are the rarities. The extremes. The tiniest slice of what it can mean to be healthy and fit.
But as I’ve said before fitness and health comes in all shapes, sizes, ages and abilities.
Some goals that appear small lead to the greatest achievements
It’s the everyday ‘athletes’ that inspire me in my profession. The people who work towards their very first push up on their toes, those who learn to swim despite being afraid of water, and the people who go from dreading movement to finding exercise they love.
These people have found the exhilaration of improving their energy, strength, mobility, stamina and confidence and that is something to truly celebrate!
Having the spirit of an athlete no matter what the size of your body or goal
After 18 years in the fitness industry, I know that every one of us is able to set a fitness goal and work towards it. You don’t have to look like an athlete to dig deep, commit to regular training sessions and inch towards making that goal a reality. And you can be proud of achieving a goal of any magnitude. It doesn’t have to be a crazy ultra marathon or trekking Kokoda. If it’s important to you and a little bit outside your current comfort zone it’s a goal worth high-fiving. Personal bests occur at every size.
Let go of the word “only”
I have witnessed so many people dig down deep inside themselves and face nerves, fear, self-doubt, the doubt of others and physical discomfort to achieve goals that were a stretch for them. We try to take the word ‘only’ out of their vocabulary. Rather than saying “It’s only a 100m swim” or “It’s only a 5K fun run”, I urge everyone to proudly own every achievement and every step forward.
Just because someone can go further, faster, stronger or more often than you, it doesn’t diminish what you achieve. Celebrate your advances.
One of my clients, Deidre, battled the loud doubts of friends when she set herself a huge goal. Read how she challenged their narrow perception of fitness
Feeling awesome is your reward
When was the last time you achieved something that you had originally doubted that you could do? How did you feel? Elated? When did you last work for 9-12 weeks to achieve something you hadn’t done before? How did you feel? Proud?
Building character, tearing down self imposed boundaries
Achieving something that was originally a little out of reach builds character. Sure the high felt after completing a fitness event fades with time, however the achievement is forever woven into your character and shapes who you are. You will feel stronger, more capable and more confident in your ability to work towards future goals. That is a healthy high worth chasing!
IMPORTANT NOTE: You do not need to complete fitness events to achieve fitness and great health. You don’t even have to be doing “workouts” to be healthy. Simply moving your body often, in any way you enjoy, is a great path to health. No guilt, no pressure, it’s up to you how you choose to move your body.