Have you always been active?

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Have you always been active?
12
Fri, 04-18-2014 - 2:47pm

Has exercise always been a part of your life? Have you always loved being active or is it something that you fell into, or did you have to train yourself to like it? From the journal entries I think that the regulars here like to exercise---is that true, or do any of you do it as a "should" but like the results?

I'm having so much difficulty getting motivated and making exercise a priority. I was never particularly athletic as a kid or young adult. As an adult I've pushed myself to do different activities for the sake of fitness and health but in only a few periods have I really enjoyed it. I know that I need to be more active, for weight control and to keep aging at bay. I feel like I'm getting caught in the downward spiral---as I become less fit it becomes harder to move, as I gain weight and become more self conscious about my body its harder to get out there in workout clothes. Since its not something I love to do its hard to push myself past those difficulties, to make the effort. Does this make sense?

I know that finding an activity that you enjoy is key, but what if you don't really enjoy any? Do you make yourself "just do it" and eventually it becomes a habit or when you get more fit you start enjoying it? For a couple of years I really liked cycling but these days I'm feeling "over it", and I cannot remember how I got enthused about it---I would love to reclaim that energy if I could. At this point I do something 2-3 times a week for 45-60 minutes, either on the bike or walking, but it feels kind of forced and joyless. Like I "have to" do it, not that I "get to" do it.

I'm wondering if any of you ever had an "aha moment" as an adult where something clicked and exercise became something that you liked to do and wanted to do? If so, can you elaborate? Or any other words of advice or inspiration?

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Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Fri, 04-18-2014 - 3:03pm

These are really great questions. I was reading in AARP (yikes) about how baby boomers were so fit in the 80's and almost 70% of them were working out and yet now, as they've gotten older, it's dropped significanly and they are now in worst shape than any previous generation.  It was a really good article about the trends of fitness.  

So, to answer your questions about myself... I was one of those last picked in gym class kids. Last as in "Ohh, we don't want her at all..."  It got slightly better in high school and at some point, I decided I needed a sport for when I appled to college and decided volleyball would be most likely the team I could make.  I made the team and loved it. I wasn't great at it but it was so much fun.  But, that was a one season sport.  In college, I did a Gloria Stevens 6 week special. I hated it but had paid for it--more than I hated physical exercise, I hated wasting money!  I liked the results, though, and how I could see/feel muscles so I kept the exercises going.  In the meantime, along w/ the hating money loss, I had extra credits for college so I took ice skating which I also loved. It was about seeing results and doing things I never thought I could do.  Studied abroad, played volleyball. But never worked out consistently.

The lead in to today is trying Jazzercise w/ friends. I loved the social aspect of it so kept it up. The thing w/ that is that it's pretty easy so it's do-able. If I had started w/ a killer workout, I most likely would have quit.  That was about 28 years ago?   I joined a gym and got into a routine. I can't say I loved working out but I loved what it did for my body and I LOVED the feeling of sweating and working hard. That was my gung ho phase. The harder, the more intense, the better.  Now, I've found activities that I enjoy that happen to be work outs.  Parkour, aerial silks, skiing, walking/running, whatever catches my eye. I think one reason for burn out for people is they think it must be hard to be a workout and it doesn't.  As your workouts go, have you explored your area and see what there is? I've found a few meet up groups which sound great--I just don't have time to do them.  And, yeah, I've definitely been where you are and that's okay, too, because we all have off seasons where we just don't want to do it.  Sometimes it's good to lay back a little, slow it down.  I used to take summers "off" as my off season.  I'd move but it was far less intense, all about just doing enough to stay somewhat fit.  






Community Leader
Registered: 09-25-2003
Fri, 04-18-2014 - 6:31pm

I, too, was the weakling that always got picked last.  :(  I loved gymnastics in kindergarten.  I started swimming at age 7, but didn't get any good until I was 10?  I think I started getting the "endorphin high" from working out hard, and then the ribbons, medals, and trophies were a plus from the AAU swim meets.  The competitive girls got catty, and that's when I exited the swimming scene.  I rode my bike during college, and somehow, while in college, I started taking dance lessons - jazz and ballet (to get good in jazz.)  Once out of college, I found Women's Workout World, and the endorphin high was enough motivation to make me love working out.  I've done dancing, aerobics classes, weights, step, swimming, spin, and whatever else that has been available.  With multiple injuries, I now just dance and do yoga.  My motivation is how I feel when I am in good shape...not only do I like the looks of how my body looks, it is more important to me to get a positive high from working out.  When I dance, I lose myself in the music and the movement, and all of my troubles disappear!  :D

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006
Fri, 04-18-2014 - 7:11pm
Count me into the 'picked last for teams' crew. I had very poor vision, which made my hand/eye coordination bad, and I wanted to read way more than sweat. I did learn to swim, but it took me four summers. Same with bike riding - it took me way longer than my younger brother. I was naturally thin until my senior year in high school, when stress eating (Reese's peanut butter cups come to mind)drove weight. Up. When I went to college in the city,the walking combined with not much money for junk food helped me drop a lot of weight, but I had a life time of struggle. I did a few exercise things over the years - took a class at the Y, swam, worked with a come to your house trainer. I always walked a lot. But in my mid 40's, a combination of menopause, the deaths of two close relatives, working a million hours to prepare for Y2k...and I had totally lost the weight battle. I do not know my high weight, because at 200, I stopped weighing. I was really unhappy, and yet. I couldn't seem to make a change. I finally decided that I would find a place to swim three times a week for three months - it was the last day of May - I knew that it wouldn't work, but my plan was to prove to myself that I couldn't lose weight, then go to therapy to learn how to be happy fat....but my plan failed...I called. The nearby gym with an indoor and outdoor pool, and the woman in the phone said 'come over now'. She told me that the. Summermembershipincludedtwo personal training sessions,and she introduced me to the most well muscled gorgeous guy and asked if he wanted to help me change my life...he said 'how about tomorrow at 6'. I found weightlifting....he made it so pleasurable...it was hard, but he praised me, and after two sessions,I was hooked. He told me to come in ten minutes early to warm up on a bike...he held me accountable for swimming and biking....at first, I was very self conscious in the gym, but eventually, people said encouraging things to me and I started to feel like I belonged there. People asked me to do things like try Pilates, and were encouraging when I did. After the first three months, I could see that I was losing weight, and I stepped on the scale...213...I kept going to the gym, lifting more often, swimming longer. In 2005 my brother was in Iraq, and I decided that I would master the stair master...trying to reach the point when I could go for 30 minutes without stopping. I thought about him the whole time I was on there and that motivated me. In 2009, I took the summer off work to are for my mother and joined a gym with Zumba...I decided to try it and I loved it...the hour flew by,and I was amazed that I had the endurance to do it. Most amazingly, in 2010, after I had surgery to repair a token bone in. Y foot, my orthopedist told me I could run if I wanted to...I had never run, but I decided to train for a local 5k that supported a charity my brother cared about and surprise him by running it...and I did. So the answer is, I did not always work out, but I do it. Now. Because I love how it makes me feel about myself,how much i enjoy the social aspect of it, and how much I love setting and meeting goals. I structure my week around when I can work out...and I love it.
Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Fri, 04-18-2014 - 7:55pm

It's funny how we were last picked in school. Unlike you, I had a weight problem in high school, actually once I got my period.  I was never obese but chubby. Back then there weren't many chubby kids so I always stood out.  In hindsight, as hard as it is being someone who gains weight easily, it's also made me the healthy person I am today.  Had I been naturally thin, I would never have made the effort. Now weight isn't a big part of the equation but it's about feeling good.  And, I think SJ,you touched on it w/ how easily you did zumba. I love being fit because I can try whatever activity I want and not be afraid I'm not in shape enough to do it. I might not be coordinated to do it well but it has nothing to do w/ strength!






Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Fri, 04-18-2014 - 7:56pm

With all the competitive swimming and the dancing you did, I always assumed you were just naturally athletic!






Community Leader
Registered: 04-07-2008
Mon, 04-21-2014 - 10:36am

I too was one of the last picked most of my young life. I was tall and gangly and considered a "nerd".  I spent most of my childhood outside walking or riding my bike so I would say I had always been active. When I was 14 years old an announcement was made at my school for the girls track team. It really interested me so I went and tried out. I made it and was told I was going to be a distance runner. Since I had never really been good at anything else, I was absolutely shocked and thrilled when it turned out I was pretty good at running. My first ever race I ran the 800 meters (half mile) and I came in third place. I went on to place in many races and earned a varsity letter. The next year I tried out for the cross-country team and did quite well there too. All throughout high school I ran track and cross country and continued running into my 20's.

I stopped running during my childbearing years because I was pregnant often (8 pregnancies in 10 years) but I never stopped walking daily. I also had a variety of fitness tapes and when I couldn't get outside I did my video workouts. My husband and kids thought my workouts were so "entertaining". lol However, mostly I walked for miles and miles(and often was pushing a stroller). Early in my 30s I learned about weight lifting. I joined a gym and I'm still there now lifting, jogging, walking, and taking various fitness classes. 

I never had to learn to like an activity. I do stop and start things (like running or martial arts) when I am no longer enjoying them. I find that if I stop for a while, usually my excitement for it will return at some point. Elc, if I were you, I'd stop cycling for a while and do something else. You will probably find that your love for cycling will return. 

Karla
Community Leader
WALKING
EXERCISE and HEALTHY LIVING

Community Leader
Registered: 09-25-2003
Mon, 04-21-2014 - 5:33pm

OMG, 8 pregnancies in 10 years.  I am stunned!  I bow down to you!  You have an amazing body, and a ton of patience!  I had horrible pregnancies, and although I love my children, I had to stop at two!

Isn't it amazing how we were all picked last in school?  I wonder if there is some type of correlation at work, here!

Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Mon, 04-21-2014 - 9:38pm

Whew, yeah, 8 pregnancies is tough enough but in 10 years? I had easy pregnancies and can't imagine that!  

I think we all need to do videos for kids who are picked last, jump on the "It gets better" bandwagon.  I do far more now that I ever thought I could do.  I'm in better shape than those people who were naturally gifted, for the most part.  Well, except the super speedy like Karla.  I'll never be a fast runner!






Community Leader
Registered: 04-07-2008
Tue, 04-22-2014 - 10:44am

The 8 pregnancies took their toll on me for a while both physically and mentally. I wanted a lot of kids but things just didn't work out that way. My pregnancies were very difficult and eventful and the losses were devastating, but I was determined not to be defeated. I decided I wanted to rebuild my body and be stronger than ever and I feel like I have succeeded. I think physically and mentally I am in much better shape at almost 50 than I was at 30. 

lol Jean, I never considered myself a fast runner. In school the coach made me run the 1600 meter relay (I had to run 400 meters) any time they were a relay team member short and I hated it. They usually put me as first leg and I could hold my own against the "fast" girls so that the team didn't get horribly behind from the start but I never could overtake anyone. I was, however, good at outlasting what I considered the "fast" runners which made me a pretty decent distance runner. 

Karla
Community Leader
WALKING
EXERCISE and HEALTHY LIVING

Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Tue, 04-22-2014 - 5:53pm

Sorry to hear that about all the pregnancies. It is devastating when pregnancies don't take (I had a miscarriage before my first) and it makes the other pregnancies filled w/ anxiety.

Yeah, you're actually one of the faster runners I know and you just started doing it recently! Or, started redoing it recently.






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