Fitness is a Journey
I am by no means an expert. But, I love this quote-"The expert in anything was once a beginner"~Helen Hayes
1. If you are an "expert" (or close to it!) I think it is important to always take time and reflect back on where you came from.
When I was first talked into running a 5K by my husband it seemed like a huge task. I couldn't even run for 30 seconds without feeling like I was going to die. Now, I am training for a half marathon (after successfully completing a few 5ks) and some days I only have time or can only successfully complete 3-4 miles and I get so mad at myself. What?! I only ran 3 miles today! Then the old Megan says to me "Ummm-remember?? Running for 30 seconds used to be a really big deal-look how far you have come!"
2. If you are just starting out-don't get discouraged or compare yourself to others. It is good to look at others and admire or aspire to be where they are. However, know that they too were once where you are. With time, training and persistence you will get better!!
3. Don't say "I can't" or let set backs get in your way-If you ask my husband he will confirm-I was (and sometimes am!) the biggest whiner! "I can't breathe, my ankle hurts, I have a headache, I'm tired, I wore the wrong shorts, I had a bad day, I'm not in the mood". When I was younger I was short, not very strong, and I had asthma. So, I just assumed I couldn't ever be athletic. I put limitations on myself. I had no idea that one day with training and supplements I would outgrow most of my asthma symptoms and that I would become stronger and faster. Running for 30 seconds straight soon became running for five minutes straight and now sometimes an hour straight.
4. I REALLY have been in your shoes. I tried out for cheerleader in junior high and I didn't make it. I was devestated. I practiced and got a coach and I then finally made it that next year. I loved basketball-I couldn't wait to be on the team. Once I was on the team I was slower, smaller and more intimidated than most of the players so I quit. I was talked into running cross cross but I hated running. During practices I would just walk the course and only run when the coach was watching. I got last place or 2nd to last at almost every race. I could have very easily held on to these memories and decided that I was not meant to do sports. Instead, I tried even harder to prove to the old me that I could do it and..I did!
[caption id="attachment_1747" align="aligncenter" width="288"] Runner of the Year? Yeah Right![/caption]
For new runners I highly recommend the couch to 5k plans. They start you out at a beginners level and you increase your time and mileage. I also recommend trying a workout class or DVD and doing the modified moves. Over time you will be able to do the full moves and increase your weights.
If you are that person walking slower right now look at that person running by you and think "Yeah-that WILL and CAN be me someday!"-be inspired, not discouraged. If you are that person running by someone slower give them a thumbs up or an encouraging word. Remember-I am sure there are some natural athletes out there but most of us did and do have to work at it. We can ALL be athletes! If you would like some coaching or just don't know where to start, sign up for the free account here and drop me a line.