When I was a kid and a teenager exercise came so easily to me. I had boundless energy, rarely injured myself, loved sports and I was super competitive.
Then suddenly I got a drivers license and take-out drive-thrus became my meal source, and quite frankly work and generally being an adult started to take over my life.
Throughout my 20s I played badminton in between having children, and occasionally put in half-hearted efforts at the gym. Motherhood seemed to sap me of my motivation and energy to do anything more than exercise my right to sit on the couch.
Then as I entered my 30s I discovered running. And a whole new world opened up to me. Running was my me time. It was time away from the kids and the world. There was no-one to impress by myself.
The most challenging part of my day soon became my most rewarding part of my day.
As I got fitter I started to incorporate more and more into my routine - the gym, swimming, HIIT , and the more I did, the stronger I got, and the better I felt.
So, with the intention of hopefully inspiring someone to try just run to the end of their driveway, here's what I wish I knew before I started this fitness gig!
If you can afford them, good shoes are a blessing. Being properly fitted to suit your body type, how you run, and what sport you are planning on playing is the best way to minimize your risk of injury, and help ensure that aches and pains don't rule you out for the next round of fun!
Listen To My Body
I've pushed through pain a few too many times, in pursuit of keeping up with a challenge or from fear of losing my gains. That was dumb.
Fitness is a lifetime thing - not a 6 week challenge.
If I had listened to the sounds of my body and watched for the signs of over training I would have incorporate way more rest days.
There were days when I felt like I could go for miles, and days when I felt that if I pushed I would feel worse for it. I'm getting better at listening now.
That crazy hunger after a workout?! Haha, at first I tried to quell it. Then I realized that bodies need fuel and that eating delicious, healthy meals is the very best thing I can do to help it recover, build stronger muscles, and generally maintain my health.
Its OK to start sucky
In school was used to being pretty closed to first in any race, or being able pickup most sports. When I started running I was humbled by the speed of others who were far more experienced than me.
My pace was about 5 or 6 times slower than theirs. And that was OK.
Its totally OK to start where you start, it gives you room to improve, and even if you don't improve, at least you started.