But then, in 11th grade, a new world of PE classes became available to take for credit. I could choose from such classes as Rock Climbing, Adventure Learning, Lifeguard Training, Sea Kayaking, Fitness Training, Yoga and — my two personal favorites — Dance and Stretching & Relaxation. I took those two favorite classes junior year and then somehow I managed to talk my teacher into letting me co-teach those classes senior year. I didn’t know it then but that was my introduction to coaching (so thank you, Ms Simpkin, for that). And the great thing was: It taught me that I didn’t need to hate exercise.
Here the thing: In traditional PE classes, you don’t get much of a choice when it comes to what exercise is. We all kind of learn that the important things to know are how to run a mile and that the more sit-ups and pushups you can do in a minute the better, and that it really sucks being picked last on a team. (And it’s really embarrassing when you fall on top of your PE teacher during the tumbling class in front of everyone…)
Why do I bring this up? Because too often I hear people say, “I don’t like exercising but I know I need to.”
Sound familiar? If so, you might have experienced the dread I felt in PE classes. You might not have been in an environment that made you feel like you were a part of a community of peers made up of different fitness levels that could work together; you were probably not in a place where you believe you could excel and feel competent even if you weren’t “good” at first; or in a place that even gave you a choice to do certain sports over others.
So why on earth would we put ourselves in a position to relive the dread of high school PE in adulthood? When a potential client contacts me, I know that they might have been thinking about contacting someone for a long time. Taking the step to finally make that contact is brave, it takes guts, it puts them in a vulnerable position and I absolutely do not take that for granted because I know that client put herself/himself in that position because they need HELP.
If you’ve read this far, thank you because I’m finally getting to the point. You or someone you know, reading this now, might be in the “I hate working out but know I have to” position. What I want to ask you is:
- What about working out do you hate? (And if you say, “Everything,” I’ll challenge you to be more specific.)
- You’ve determined the WHATs; now determine the WHYs. Why do you hate those points you just wrote down?
- Who says you have to work out by doing the things in #1? Your doctor? Your partner? Your friends? Your HS PE teacher?
- Are there any ways you LIKE moving your body? Is there anything that feels good, either during the activity and/or after? Yoga? Dancing? Walking? Kickboxing?
- Once you’ve determined ways you like to move, see if there are any classes or coaches in your area that offer those options! (Action steps below)
Listen: It’s 2016 and almost anything is an exercise class now so I feel confident there’s something out there for you. It might be Zumba or Bollywood dancing; it might be martial arts, tap dancing or training for strong(wo)man competitions; it might be aerial arts or pole dancing (not at all kidding); it could be hoola-hooping (also not kidding) or tennis. It might even be strength training with me or any of my colleagues at TruFit, wink wink!
Here are a few ways to find options that might be right for you:
The MindBody App
Your local park district (if you have one)
Your local YMCA
Me! If you’re looking for something and can’t find it, email me! I’ll do my best to find what you’re looking for.
Here is the bottom line: There really is something for everyone. Disliking pushups or running a mile doesn’t make you suck (Usain Bolt has never run a mile; he doesn’t suck). You’re just on the verge of finding what might lead you to a more full, happy and healthy life! So get after it!