Don’t hate it because it’s good for you…
By Coach Emily
A common question I get both out in the real world and in the gym is, “Have you always been a fitness person?” This is a tricky question and I usually follow it up with, “I played sports as a kid, but never really worked out outside of sports until I started at CrossFit Lincoln.”
I always enjoyed playing sports but I rarely enjoyed practices and the working out part of them. When I swam, I strongly disliked dry land training and during basketball practice I seemed to have an asthma attack during our running drills. With that said, I have definitely not always been a fitness person.
It took 20+ years of not being a fitness person and 10+ years of trying to be a fitness person to truly understand the purpose of fitness in my life and how it can benefit others. Throughout this journey, I came across people who would fall into the category of fitness haters. They hated working out, it sucks, it’s boring, and it just wasn’t for them.
Some of these fitness haters were my closest friends, and it made it difficult for me to connect with them because I was on the path to making fitness my life by becoming a coach. I saw the benefit of this thing called CrossFit and I wanted everyone I cared about to do it and love it as much as I did. I think I made them hate fitness even more…
Taking what I know now about how people work and why they might “hate” fitness, I would approach it all differently. I didn’t understand why someone would hate fitness. Now I know it may be because of a few different factors:
- They had a bad experience in school where they were embarrassed; they were forced to play a sport, or got hit hard with a dodgeball in gym class, or made fun of because they couldn’t throw a ball, or couldn’t climb a rope, or were slow.
- They saw the types of people portrayed in the media that didn’t look or act like them.
- The only people they knew who worked out were not very nice and smelled like protein powder grossing them out.
- They could be injured or have chronic health issues that they think prevents them from working out.
- They might have tried working out themselves and were doing it wrong.
At the end of the day, fitness improves everything. Every aspect of your life. There is plenty of science behind the idea that movement improves your physical and mental health. I will leave it up to the scientists to tell you why and I will stick to how you can do this fitness thing and not hate it. (Exhibit A if you’re interested in the science)
Over the years I have learned that some activity is better than no activity. So when I was trying to force CrossFit down my friends throat, I maybe should have asked them to go for a walk with me instead. Or when they said they went for a bike ride I should have been excited for them and asked them to tell me about it. Instead, I spent the rest of the night trying to get them to understand why strength training is important.
As a coach and a friend I want everyone to find a way that they enjoy to move each day. If someone hates fitness, then they are approaching it the wrong way. Instead of continuing to hate it, they should take a step back and figure out something they enjoy. Find a way to move that they are passionate about rather than something to do to lose weight. Workout because you care about yourself and your health, not because you hate the way you look. It is a lot easier to enjoy that way!
Like a relationship, fitness takes time to develop. Start small with 1x a week for 10 minutes. Give yourself room to build and grow. If you hate the first thing you picked, try something else. Try something you look forward to and know you are working to improve all aspects of your life.
Now, it is quite literally my job to get people to join CrossFit and to encourage them to come every day. I have found the most success in this by creating an environment where people enjoy themselves and look forward to coming. Knowing it might only be once a week for now, but soon enough they will crave it and want to come more…or they will hate it! And if that happens I now encourage them to find a way to incorporate movement in their life they enjoy. I enjoy fitness most of the time now and if I don’t, it means I need to go do something different like ride my bike or go play basketball to have a little fun.
If you hate fitness, if you hate your current fitness routine I encourage you to branch out and try something new. If that is CrossFit, I am the person to talk to and our community is the place to start. If it is a dance class or Jiu Jitsu, awesome! I look forward to hearing about it either way.