Thinking of writing off an idea for a fitness goal? Don’t knock it until you try it!
Do you ever write something off as impossible or disregard it simply because something inside of us said, “We’ve never done that before, so why bother?”
I’m sure we have all done it at some point in our lives. We protect ourselves from failing merely by not trying. It’s safe and familiar. We don’t usually become aware of it until we are faced with those fears, goals and dreams — and conquer them. We look back and wonder why it took us so long to take the first step to surpass something we have wanted for so long.
In my short time here on Earth, I have come to realize that if I cannot learn to take the baby steps, how would I ever be able to take the big steps? I believe it is vital to our mental, physical and spiritual success to force ourselves out of those comfort zones in order to see growth.
Ten weeks ago, along with friends and co-workers, I started a virtual triathlon training program at the Plant City Family YMCA. Now, anyone who knows me knows I dislike anything that remotely has to do with swimming or cycling. Just the thought of trying to swim one length of a pool or even sitting on a bike made me cringe — which I know sounds dramatic, but it is the truth. Growing up, the basis of my mental toughness was running, but I got comfortable and safe. I wanted to stick with what I knew. Why did I sell myself short?
We are all afraid of trying something new whether we like to admit it or not. With the encouragement and support of those around me, I committed myself to 12 weeks of running, biking and swimming. Little did I realize this program was about to change my way of thinking and love for fitness for the better.
I will admit the first two weeks were tough, but your abilities are limitless when you get yourself out of your comfort zone. I found myself loving to challenge my body to do something it had never done before. It gave me more confidence in my physical ability than I could have imagined. I had mentally shifted from thinking “I cannot” to thinking “I can.”
Now, 10 weeks later, I can confidently say I have a newfound love for swimming and biking, and I cannot wait to start the next training.
Are you nervous about starting something new? Here are a few tips to help get you started:
- Follow a plan. Find a plan that fits your schedule and stick to it. We all know one of the hardest parts of starting any physical challenge is figuring out how you are going to create it. Take the hard part out, instead of creating it yourself. Find a plan you like and set a start and end date.
- Surround yourself with uplifting and likeminded individuals. Have you ever heard the saying “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future”? Be aware of who you spend your time with. It could be the difference between failure and success.
- Keep your eyes on the prize. How badly do you want it? Try to look at the bigger picture. Intentionally, remind yourself daily of that goal and do not lose sight.
However, I think the biggest thing I learned is “Don’t knock it until you try it.”
My challenge to you this year is to pick one thing you have written off as something you cannot and/or will not ever do and try it. Who knows — you might surprise yourself!
Hannah Franklin is the Wellness Director at the Plant City Family YMCA.