Fitness Goals, Do What You Can With What You Have

2-Do-what-you-can-with-what-you-have-where-you-are_-Theodore-Roosevelt

 

So it’s that time of night I should be doing stuff to get ready for bed, instead I have ideas bouncing around my head and I’m sitting down to write with a few pieces of Easter candy that somehow landed next to me and coffee to go with them.

Have mercy, I may never sleep tonight ūüėõ

But when ideas come, it’s hard not to let them out. They tend to swirl around like the dog under your feet when you’re cooking chicken.

Obnoxious. In the way. Won’t leave you alone till you acknowledge them.

Welcome to the brain of a writer.

brain pic
Often the truth of the matter….

 

I’ve come to accept this, the ideas that come at any given moment. They can wake me up, leaving me scurrying for a note pad to hastily scratch out the idea with beady eyes seeing it later wondering¬†who the hell wrote something so illegibly,¬†or as mentioned¬† it can keep me up till I get it out of my head.

I’m feeling a bit victorious today. I finished off another one of my furniture project pieces and it is the sweetest thing ever. I mean, I’ve got a few others under me but I’m pretty sure this is currently my favorite.

No… no photos right now. You’ll have to check back and see those soon ūüėČ

I will just say I love having a vision in my head and then having it all play in life is so satisfying. And when I look back at photos from day¬†1 when I dragged something home I’m always a bit shocked to see how much it really has changed.

Ok.. on with the show….

As things go with me, my ideas for writing come from all directions at any given time. Ideas come in subtle and not so subtle ways. Sometimes, it’s conversations with people that trigger it. When a similar thought comes from several people within the week, if I’m paying attention, I see it as a possible idea for a post.

Really, if it’s the same idea from a few people, there are most likely others out there who have thought or dealt with similar things.

For example; I’ve been encouraged to talk to some of my friends who are getting started in a fitness program. As I listened to what they were doing and heard the excitement in their voices there was the usual….

“Well, I’m not doing what you do.” “or¬† “I’m not where you are” or ” I can’t do what other people in class are doing”

No, they probably aren’t doing what I do. ¬†And no, they can’t keep up with me or someone else who’s been at it awhile.

Here’s the deal….

First, you should never, ever compare yourself to someone else. On any level. And especially on a physical level.

I would never start someone off working out where I am now. I wouldn’t have started in the place I am years ago.

Where I did start was at my level of physical abilities at the time.

I did what I could with where I was at.

Truthfully, I was a middle aged, sedentary, slightly overweight woman at the time who had no previous physical training or athletic abilities to fall back on. My best course of action was having a smart plan that allowed my body to adapt and change with my activities.

Of course at the time, I didn’t really see myself as a future athlete.

Nope… never even saw that coming, but I’m¬†really glad it did. The athletic lifestyle is my niche and it comfortably suits me now.

However what did I learn that¬†I believe is important to anyone getting started on a fitness program is this…..

Do what you can with where you are.

I know that sounds clich√© but the reality of it is true. You can’t show up at the gym and think you’re going to just start lifting heavy things or grinding out miles on the treadmill if your only activity has previously been sprinting to the ‘fridge.

Trying to keep up with others in a class or at the gym or even your neighbor isn’t only not fair to you, but not healthy for you either.

Doing more than your body is used to is a recipe for injury that will quickly derail your budding fitness plans.

Even now, I know I’m stronger and more fit than I’ve ever been and I don’t back down from much. I do however, know when I hit my limit of what I can handle. There’s a fine line between pushing out of my comfort zone where continued growth occurs, and not overstepping into the arena where my body hasn’t gone yet and needs time to grow into.

For instance I shared recently that I had “upgraded” to being able to use 25lbs to do curls with.¬† https://sassyfitnesschick.com/2018/03/16/strength-training-and-every-day-life/

Now for some of you, that’s baby weight. For a lot of you, you’ll never see it happen.

For me it represented another step to getting stronger. Could I have done that several years ago when I was starting out?

No. Way.

It’s taken time and practice and work. Lots of work. And my body has done what yours will do as well. It responds and it grows, changes and gets stronger and you can keep a forward moving process of improved strength and endurance.

Don’t apologize

Seriously. Don’t apologize for not being where someone else is.¬† We are all on our own journeys. Some of us are going to be a bit more focused and intense about getting better and improving.

**** cough, cough who me??***

Some will be happy with slow progress being content to rock along in a comfortable place. Some will form specific intentional goals while others will just take each day as it comes.

The important thing is that you are starting. Making a choice to get physically fit will have lots of rewards for a healthier life.

Better mental clarity, less body fat, an elevated mood, bright skin, a healthier more energetic body, improved lab results, or even learning a new activity all have big payoffs.

Learn from others

When I start into a new adventure, I am notorious for keying in on people who know more about it than I do. I then shamelessly pick their brains to gather useful information to add to my collection of growing education.

Thank goodness I’m not shy or socially awkward haha

Don’t be afraid to do that with people around you who have been on the journey longer. I love being able to offer advice and help to those seeking information on nutrition or who want to get physically active.

In both cases, I never suggest they start off with extremes.  A modest tweaking of the daily diet for awhile or encouraging them to get off the sofa for an evening walk is always a good place for anyone to start.

A few tips and tricks

Small steps are better than doing nothing. All of us have to start small.

Find something you want to do and will look forward to. This will help you stay committed.

Applaud your own efforts, really, it’s ok. You’re doing it!

Share your efforts or goals on social media. Really. You’ll find there will be a group who rises to the top who will cheer and encourage you. And you don’t know who you’ll be encouraging as well when you do.

Don’t.. don’t… over do. If walking 2 miles feels good, don’t think you’ll just do a few more. You don’t want to risk injury to a body that isn’t used to certain activities. Worse, when you are sore and can barely move the next day you’ll not want to do anything.

Small, slow, gradual increases will keep you moving and keep you from injury.

Focus just on you. Not the other girl or guy at the gym who appears to have it all together. Not the person who can do more reps in a class than you or the one who runs like lightening.

Focus on you.

Do what you can with where you are . Don’t be afraid to modify workouts if they are to hard. Don’t be afraid to walk if you can’t run. Don’t try and lift weight that could hurt you if lifting less can help you get stronger.

Be persistent and before you know it, you’ll be in a stronger, healthier, more fit place in your life.

Tell me… have you ever played the comparison game when it comes to exercise or fitness programs? What tips or tricks have worked to keep you on a fitness path?

Advertisements

Small Success And Great Ambition

It was the typical usual morning. Wake up, do some stretching before stumbling out of bed and heading to kitchen for the first of my coffee fix.

Let dogs out, let dogs in, feed dogs, let dogs out.

Grab second cup of coffee and check in to social media world.¬† Scrolling through I¬†can see who’s been up all night if there are a zillion posts from them¬†( sleep people, sleep) I keep on scrolling squinting with one eye pasts the political posts and cheesy memes,¬†blandly go through all the advertisements and for sale ads (unless some cute furniture item catches my eye) smile at the usual real life, real people photos, giggle over some posts that make my day already at the still dark thirty hour, and then, sometimes, something comes along that makes me pause and think… like this one..

great ambitions

I read it, then read it again. I kinda just let it breathe over me. There are some posts that strike me like that. They make me pause, reflect, look inside and examine it and then consider it’s impact on me.

The person posting it asked what it meant to the reader and was encouraging feedback. Although it was still early in the morning I let my mind engage and began thinking of what it meant to me, how I perceived it and what my take was on that thought.

I am not the only one I pondered, who has had great ambitions or currently has them.

Of course I believe those are largely dependent on the¬†individual too. I mean, my ambitions might not be as big as someone else’s, but then, mine are quite a bit bigger than others.

If we get lost in the pursuit of our ambitions it might be easy to dismiss the small successes that lead us there, right? We could be so single minded and focused on the “big” thing we are pursuing we could stomp right over small successes and never give them a thought, perhaps even not seeing them as relevant.

In general, I think people can be so focused on hitting the goal, they may miss the important things learned on the journey getting there.

Those small things are what grow us, build us, and shape where we go and who we are along the way. If we are moldable, we learn and that shapes us on our way to the bigger things we pursue.

As I pondered those ideas in the early morning hour I started thinking about how learning to run one mile had led to me running more miles until ultimately, several years later I did a race that had 31.6 miles in it.

It took lots of small successes for me to step out and do a 50K.  It took time building my mileage little by little.

I never took it for granted, the privilege and ability of my body to run.

Small success to me meant overcoming things like a desire to stay in bed when it was dark out and I was getting up to go for my long run. Or leaving when it was cold or wet.  Overcoming myself to do bigger things kept me on the path to those bigger ambitions I had.

Similarly, I thought about last year when I made the commitment and signed up for my first duathlon.  There were so many small successes that led to me ultimately not only doing it, but placing first in my age group too.

After my very first training session that was a bike ride, immediately followed by a run, I wondered what I was doing.

It felt awkward. My legs felt like spaghetti noodles the first half mile. I wondered if I was really going to be able to get this thing down.

I did it again the following week and the week after that. Not always fast, not always the most skilled, but I did it. It then turned into a run/bike/run training session.

And I got stronger, not that the training was easier, I was adapting to it.

Small baby steps all the while I was keeping my eye on the prize, that big thing my overachieving self was pursuing. An ambitious goal for a average middle aged female athlete, competing in the race listed as the toughest in the state.

If there’s anything athletics has taught me, ( well, it’s taught me a lot but….) ¬†it’s taught me to appreciate all those small things that get me to my final goal, the big thing I’m pursuing. Because it takes week after week of those small things to nail the lofty ambitious goals I tend to set for myself.

As I continued to sip from my almost empty coffee cup, I thought of so many other things in my life that if looked at in a separate way, might seem inconsequential, yet again they had a specific place in my life for getting me to that “bigger” thing.

I always want to be pursuing something ambitious, something bigger than life that scares me a little. I don’t want to get so comfortable being “comfortable” that I lose the rush of a new dream or vision or opportunity to challenge myself some more.

But I never want to become complacent and unaware of the small steps, the small victories, and sometimes not noticed successes that lead me to the top, for those things pave the road to my accomplishments.

So I’ll leave the same thought with you, that my friend left with me….

How do you personally define this? Do you relate? Do you ever think of the small things as being important to the “big” thing you pursue? Or do they seem unimportant?

Transformation: It’s The Small Things

As I’ve meandered along these past years on what I refer to as my “journey” in fitness and nutrition, ¬†I’ve had opportunity to talk to a lot of people who are on the same path, or trying to stay on it.

Some are successful and have found the right “blend” that works for them, the thing that is sustainable allowing¬†them to keep after it day after day and still live their life.

Others are still struggling, battling against various issues that push them back from staying on that road to success.

I’ve seen people excitedly get started and then I’ve watched the excuses start creeping in. Excuses for eating poorly or not getting exercise. Excuses for why there¬†isn’t a loss on the scale. ¬†These reasons seem justifiable to them.

And I know as well as anyone how you have to battle back against excuses that creep in and try to side track you.¬† Because in the beginning, they always do. And it’s easy to give into them because you haven’t been grinding it out long enough to make these things a habit.

You haven’t been doing enough purposeful exercise so it’s easy to tell yourself that missing today won’t matter… until it bleeds into the next day… and the next… and then you aren’t doing it at all.

You haven’t trained yourself to turn a blind eye to the box of donuts in the office break room or pass on eating seconds because you mentally know and understand these practices won’t support your current health goals.

So many things go into our success ( or lack thereof) when it comes to our health and fitness goals.

So many things must be done and built into new habits to contribute to our success. Without building these skills, we will keep sliding back to where we’ve always been.

It takes a measure of discipline, hard work, and the ability to have days we fall and get back at it.

It’s all those small things we do consistently that lead us to where we want to be.

If there’s one thing that stands out working with people ( and those who get discouraged and give up) it’s this….

No matter what you tell someone, those small things, done daily, add up.

Unfortunately, they have thoughts that all their weight will magically go away in a week or two, forgetting they’ve been adding it on for months or years.

They start exercising and get frustrated that their body is reminding them it hasn’t done work like this in a long time, if ever. And trust me, if you don’t think you’re “out of shape” before you start an exercise program, you do when you’re body is gasping for air or aches the day after you’ve done something.

It is enough to make you want to quit before you even get started.

Raise your hand if you’ve been there. Yeah, I have too.

But when you decide you’re in it for the long haul, and you settle in to just living life, and then you just do those things that need to be done as a part of your life, changes will happen.

It’s the small things.

Yeah,¬† I know in the world we live in today it’s all about instant gratification, quick results, no discomfort, and easy results.

Sorry. It just doesn’t play out like that in regards to¬† health and fitness.

Small choices we make, small moves we make, small daily consistencies, add up.

I was thinking the other day, plowing up hill after hill doing a 5k run for the duathlon how doing it was¬† hard work, but work my body has adapted to and learned to respond to. My heart and breathing are strong but not in that horrible way when I was out of shape.¬† I also have a fast recovery heart rate now as well so when I finish, it doesn’t take long at all to be breathing normal again or have my heart rate back in a much lower zone.

Of course it wasn’t always like that. When I first started taking on hills, depending on size, I’d maybe do part way up, and then reverse my route. As I got stronger I walked strongly all the way up. As my cardio system got stronger too, I could walk them and not have my heart pounding so fiercely or be breathing as hard like a fish out of water.

Eventually, I was just all out running them. It’s such a cool feeling when my body just kicks in and does what it’s been trained to do.

The steep grade of the hill and how my legs feel pushing up it. How my body position shifts. How my breathing changes to a deep even rhythm to push on.

Small choices and activities led me to that point. Small choices also led to weight loss, getting stronger and doing more athletically.

I cant stress enough to you… if you’re on a mission to get fit, to get healthier, to lose weight. to train for an Ironman, whatever your goals are… those small choices you make each day will get you to where you’re going.

You might feel like what you do today doesn’t matter or it’s not “changing” anything. You might feel like that longer morning walk wont ¬†result in anything or skipping on that extra treat won’t matter, but it does. Do that in a week, you’ve made progress.

And don’t forget, there is SO much going on inside you that you don’t see. Changes, growth, energy being built from what you’re doing, fat leaving, muscles growing. Your body beautifully adapting to the new changes you are putting it through.

All from those small, daily, consistent things you do.

Don’t give up. Don’t quit.

The reward is big when you don’t.

small changes

 

The Power Of Your Voice

inspiration

 

It’s no secret I’m a little passionate about health and fitness.

Ok, well maybe a lot.

I’m passionate about it ’cause I know how it can change lives.

I’m by no means what I consider an “expert” but through observation of the world around me and interacting with people I’ve learned that I know a lot.

I’ve learned from others who are knowledgeable ( and sane) I read and learn from reliable intelligent sources, and most of all, I’ve learned to put it all to practice on myself. I keep what works, toss what doesn’t.

I’ve learned to implement a lifestyle that’s sane, sensible, and sustainable in regards to¬†food and exercise. ( I know.. some of you are reading this believing I am insane with some of my athletic shenanigans, but that’s ok ūüėČ

If anyone asks, it’s what I preach to them. Why? because it’s what will stick as a lifestyle.

We are not made alike, nor are our activities alike, therefore our needs each day are going to be different. Finding the right balance is key to success for all of us to live energetic and healthy lives.

Of course if you follow me you know one of biggest pet peeves is the overwhelming amount of “health” companies vying for peoples money with grandiose promises when the buyer uses their product.

One that has shown up more frequently that I’m not familiar with promised an astounding 10lb weight loss in one week ( I want to know, the long term of that, did the weight stay gone? I seriously doubt it)

Anyway, it was sad to me to see so many people jumping at the product like a frog after flies.

“More info please!”, ” Interested!”, “Please send me info!” “How do I get it?”

On and on it went.

I was torn between feeling sorry for them that they were desperate enough to believe it and were willing to part with their money over the “two pills” a day that were supposed to work wonders, (no diet or exercise!) or feeling like they deserved what they got for buying into such utter nonsense.

A quick bit of homework on my end revealed this company had received a warning letter from the FDA regarding an ingredient in their product.

Yet people were blindly begging for it.

This always bothers me so much. People begging for help from crazy things yet unwilling to do what really needs to be done.

So I’ll keep promoting sanity. Balance. Moderation. Building new habits.

All these in turn lead to a lifestyle of health and wellness.

So I will continue to use my voice…..

I’ll keep posting¬† about food and good nutrition and sharing reasons why you don’t need to participate in the new modern day snake oil.

I’ll share tips and sane ideas for the normal person plugging along in a consistent manner to make permanent changes. I’ll keep posting about my crazy ¬†athletic shenanigans and exercise ideas.

Why?

Because for every “Oh brother” and rolled eye behind the computer screen, there’s someone else getting motivated, getting up off the sofa, and heading¬† out the door.

There’s someone making better food choices and learning how to eat better for good health.

Someone else is making a choice to change their life. They’re getting fit and gaining energy and¬†that is giving them a better quality of life. Their ¬†health is improving and they are seeing results in a multitude of ways.

If one person is motivated by what I share, it’s totally worth it. If only one person decides that athletic stuff looks fun or they want a challenge and then the bug bites them, it’s worth it.

Motivation tends to breed motivation.

I still feed off of it from others. I am highly motivated but seeing how others are doing and what they are doing reminds me to keep pressing on, to stay the course, and focus on my goals.

Remember in your own life, you can be a source of motivation and encouragement to others with what you do. Your determination to get your workouts done. Your choices to eat better food. Your positive and energetic attitude. Verbally encouraging and supporting the efforts of others around you.

It makes an impact.

Use your voice. Use your life.  Make a difference.

 

 

Thankfulness And The Gift Of Exercise

exercise

I’m writing late tonight. Actually, I wasn’t going to write at all today and give my mind a rest.

But I got to thinking… always… thinking….

Thinking about how blessed and fortunate I am on so many levels in so many ways. A family who loves me warts and all, an amazing, supportive, encouraging husband who loves me and my free spirit, beautiful kids, grandkids, and friends. I have all of my needs more than adequately met, and I’m healthy.

It’s hard to not feel thankful with so many blessings.

I thought about this out on the road this morning…¬† thankfulness.

Today was my run/cycle/run day. It was a warm humid morning … my reminder that I will be training in it¬†daily pretty soon…

I’ve mentioned in previous posts I have my eyes set on tackling a duathlon so acclimating my body to the change of movement from running to cycling will take some training. It’s been about a month now and its getting easier on the second run.

Anyway, back to being thankful…

it was on my last, final leg of my workout those thoughts crossed my mind. I had about a mile left on my¬† 5k, sweating was running into my eyes so I had to pull my glasses off to¬†clear them to see and I was battling some nausea which came out of nowhere ( maybe it was the lone banana bouncing around in my stomach ūüėõ )

I was hungry. I was beyond sweaty. The sun was beating down on me. ¬†My legs were letting me know they had been moving for close to 2 hours….

And I realized (again) how thankful I am that I can do what I do. What a glorious, beautiful privilege.

I have a strong healthy body that can exercise.

What an amazing gift.

I can run.. and move fairly fast for a middle aged grandmother ūüėČ

I can ride a bike like a demon and I can lift heavy things.

Moving our bodies in exercise is such a gift and blessing.¬† Perhaps it’s why my heart hurts for people who make jokes about exercising and have not ever let themselves fully embrace the joy of it. Who choose to remain sedentary and not do the very thing they are made to do.

Yeah I get it. In the beginning, it’s hard.¬† You sweat. You realize how out of shape you are as you gasp for air. You may hurt and ache for a few days. You’ve got to be intentional about making it happen.¬† You have to find an activity you want to do. Then you do it… no excuses.

It takes effort.

I know. I’ve been there. Done that. Felt that way.

But when you do get moving….. and it starts getting in your blood.. and you look forward to it..

that’s when you feel so alive, so grateful, so appreciative.

That my friend, is when you realize how thankful you are for the pure gift of being able to do what you do and you never take that beautiful gift for granted again.

YOU-DONT-2.png

 

The Joy Of Your Health Journey

Find-joy-in-the-journey

 

It’s afternoon and I’m perched at the bar in my fav coffee cave with the hopeful expectation if I just start typing words, thoughts will form, and then¬†magically¬†my blog post¬†will be¬†born.

Actually, I have tons of thoughts that clamor to get out. Sometimes, they are all over each other and won’t let me separate them. I came in with a topic on my mind and realized awhile back I had written something almost exact on it ( I guess I feel kinda passionate about the topic. If you’re curious¬† it’s about.. fat… and the post is called “The Ugly Truth About Fat” you can read it too when you’re done here ūüėČ )

Anyway, I scraped that idea and was pulling down another long drink of my steaming coffee when hubby started messaging me. Now as much as I love hearing from the guy, sometimes, he can break my artistic and creative thinking.

However, today he actually stirred up some thoughts in my head with his teasing.

He threw out at me “didn’t I have a pill or shake or something to just magically make him lose weight and to help him get in shape?”¬† he says things like that cause he knows those over hyped products make me crazy… totally crazy.

I laughed and told him he was out of luck. He had to do it the old fashioned, not fancy, but get the job done way:  exercise and eat sensible healthy foods.

I jokingly said…” but if I gave you a pill or shake you’d miss out on all the fun of achy muscles and sweating”.

And then it hit me… it’s what I want to talk about…

Weight loss. Exercise. Committing to living a healthier lifestyle.

The journey.

It takes work.

Actually, it takes a lot of crazy hard work and discipline. Oh yeah, and an unwillingness to give up or quit. It takes a tenacity to get up each day and to keep going after it. You buckle into it as a life long commitment and not just a brief dating experience.

It takes a new mental focus to pass by the local fast food dollar menu that you wanna load up on and stuff in your face driving down the road, to pass on the chocolate bars checking out at the grocery store, or to scale down the big bowl of ice cream etc.

It takes intentional determination to  choose healthier foods over junk foods.

To eat less when your mouth and eyes just want to eat more but your tummy has said… “HEY! we’ve got enough down here!”

It takes a serious amount of mental work in the beginning to get in your workout gear and get after it. I never wear exercise clothes to just¬†wear exercise clothes. Those for me, mean work. They aren’t play clothes. My mind knows exactly what’s coming when I’m in my work gear… it’s time to get serious.

Then of course¬†there’s ¬†the physical out put¬†you invest into your chosen activity.¬† You already know what comes from it. If you do it right you’re breathing hard, sweating, and your heart is beating strongly in your chest.

How much I love those feelings now! How much I anticipate it!

So when I fired back at hubby he’d miss out on sweating and aching muscles I realized how much I’ve learned in the course of training and disciplining myself on this¬†journey I call a healthy lifestyle.

How much we would miss out on if there were …really.. some secret magic pill or¬†potion to help us¬† get rid of the weight we had put on from a lazy lifestyle and never have to exert any energy or invest anything of ourselves into the process!

Over the course of the past few years I’ve been at it I’ve learned to embrace some things…to look forward to them.. to see the fruits of my labor present themselves in my life.

I love a body that is tired from hard work of my physical labor! I don’t mind my muscles being tight when I know its from running or cycling or lifting heavy weights.¬† I don’t mind days I’ve done a 20 mile run and I’m ready for bed at 9 pm like some old person ( forget that I was on the road at 5:30 that morning getting after it)

I DID A 20 MILE RUN THAT DAY!

Did I ever think, years, or the year or even months before I could do that?

You don’t do things like that without investing a lot to get there.¬† I didn’t pop a pill or drink a magic potion.¬† I busted my butt to get to that point…involving hours and hours of training and sacrifice…

I think if I had a short cut I would’ve missed out on all the discipline it’s taught me.¬† I would not have the incredible fierce mental toughness I have that only miles and miles out on a road will teach you. I wouldn’t have learned about sacrifice to make things happen or the work needed to accomplish huge goals. I wouldn’t have experienced the joys and pains of pursuing goals bigger than I am.

I think back to my beginning days when a 2 mile walk was enough.

I realize how much I’ve grown and learned. How much stronger and more powerful my body is now. How much energy I have. How I’ve learned to eat better and how to eat to fuel not just my day but my athletic activities.

It’s been a birthing process. A journey. An adventure that can only be limited by¬†my mind.

Taking short cuts would not grow us. It wouldn’t teach us. We wouldn’t value what we were given if we didn’t have to invest and work hard for it. We wouldn’t have the satisfaction of reaching goals that have challenged us.

I know now that the process is ongoing. It will require consistent effort, discipline and hard work.

I know its worth it. The labors I go through make the end results all that much sweeter.

I for one, am grateful, there wasn’t a pill or magic potion to do it for me.

I would’ve missed out on so¬† much on my¬†journey. I would’ve certainly missed out on learning exactly what I’m made of and what I’m capable of doing.

journey arm pic

Wherever you are learn to enjoy the journey. Embrace the process. Learn from your experiences and celebrate how fierce and strong you are.

You don’t need pills or potions.

You just need your indomitable spirit to do it.

 

Cheers To The Average Athlete

average-joe

 

So yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday here in the good old U.S.A.¬† to say the results¬† upset the applecart of many is putting it mildly.¬† Two big footballs teams battling it out for the top honor of being “the best of the best” in the league. It seemed like the game was in the bag until the Patriots (although not my choice to win ūüėČ did some pretty incredible athletic things on that field to not only pull from behind, but to take the game into the first overtime ever in Super Bowl history, winning the game and the title.

It’s hard for me to not observe all that goes on in a game from an athletic stand point. I am in awe that these guys can get slammed by 100’s of pounds of bodies on the ground, fly through the air, run at the speed of light, move with the agility of a deer being chased, bounce and land on their feet again. Their moves I often think of as strong male ballet. For such a rough sport I find beauty in the strong athletic movement of it. These are athletes in their prime.

Yes, I know and understand these men train as hard off the field to keep their bodies strong for the sport they play on the field. Nutrition and strength training are vital roles in their success on field.

Ok… so this post isn’t about the fact I may be getting more and more into football…. ūüėČ it is though,¬†going to be a nod to the average, ordinary, hard working athlete.

To you. To me. To the normal people.

Those ¬†who are disciplined and dedicated in training their bodies for tasks beyond the “usual”. We won’t be under stadium lights in front of a million screaming fans or earning coveted trophies.

No,¬†our rewards will come from¬†the dedication to our own sport ( or if you’re crazy like me…sports…) where we train hard against ourselves, setting new goals, working hard, returning home exhausted with maybe the only one happy to see us being our dog who is happy to wash the sweat from our grimy legs.

We alone know the mornings or evenings we will put ourselves through our sport, sometimes not feeling entirely like doing it. We know the mornings we are up early out getting it done while people still sleep. We understand the aches of a body worked hard and yet somehow, embrace it, preferring that over aches from doing nothing at all.

Our training teaches us more about nutrition and eating¬†smarter to perform better. We learn how to set aside foods we don’t need and focus on foods that are fuel for our bodies to become stronger for our sports. It becomes a learning process that somehow our bodies teach us as we move along. How to eat enough, and eat enough of the right foods.

We set goals, lay out our own “game plan” and train like the world depended on how successful we are at it. We perhaps, have a few events we train for in a year. For some, it could be stepping stones to something bigger.

A 5k that starts off as a lark, leads to training for a 10k, and maybe ultimately a half marathon or more.¬†¬† A cycling event or¬† maybe a mix of cycling and running. Perhaps there are loftier goals of full marathons or Ironman competitions or the desire to see just “how far” you can go doing something.

The things we can choose to pursue are limitless… sometimes only hindered by our minds and our thoughts of doubt that could hold us back.

So this post is to all of us, to you, the athletes who are inspiring to every day people who watch you. You may never get a “prize”, or have public accolades, or be famous. But what you do every day, what you work towards, the goals you set, the ambition you embody, the passion you have for your sport, could be inspiring someone else to get out and move. It could inspire them to try something new and different, to get beyond their comfort zone because they see you working it and doing it every day.

And that my friends, is certainly reward enough. To inspire and motivate others is one of the greatest gifts of all.

 

incredible-average