Growing up, I wouldn't have described myself as athletic or physically active. Considering that I took classes in ballet, tap and jazz and played softball growing up, you'd think I'd look back on that and think, "Dang, I was all kinds of athlete," instead, I think about how I did like ballet, tap and jazz but I don't think I was any good at it and what I remember most about softball was wearing jeans in the summer, literally picking dandelions in the outfield and wondering why I was there.
In high school, I was on the flag corps through the years (which I loved) and played field hockey for one season (which I hated). I specifically remember the conversation with my mom about field hockey. She agreed to buy all the necessary items required for it (also known as crap) so long as I hung in for the season to which I eagerly agreed. Day one of practice, I realized my fault in this plan: the coaches didn't cut kids on JV no matter how much we (I) sucked. Field hockey involved running - a lot of running, five days a week, in the heat. When I look back on that season, I remember the following (ironically, none of them have to do with the game itself):
1. The bitch that ran past me as I was giving it my all and said as often as possible, "Real hockey players sweat"
2. The restraint used every time to NOT hit her with my field hockey stick while I was running
3. I lost nine pounds that year the hard way because I ate and ate and ate that season and, let me tell you, it wasn't fruits and veggies
4. My mom made me get on a scale to see how much I weighed because, even though she saw me eat basically nonstop when I wasn't sleeping, she thought I was anorexic
5. I still thought I was fat
Moving on to college, there was the standard walk 5 - 10 miles a day to get to and from classes and work and the occasional tennis matches with my boyfriend (now known as my husband) to keep me going but I still didn't think of myself as physically fit or even active.
Fast forward and there we have marriage, a baby, moving (what felt like a lot) and working. At the college where I worked, they had a fitness check we could do, if desired, so I went on over to check it out. When I was on the treadmill, the girl asked me what brought me there. I told her I had a baby and it was time to get back into shape. "Aww," she said, "How old is your baby?" I replied, "Seven years old." It was hilarious to me but she didn't get the joke (to be fair, she was probably 18 or 19 years old with no thought of kids in the near future). She said my heart wasn't as in shape as it should be and that I needed to be more active. I totally agreed with her then probably went out to grab a milkshake, cheeseburger and fries for lunch.
Over the past five years, I've tried off and on to "get into shape." There are things I like to do, like swimming, roller skating, walking, bowling and dancing, but there is nothing that I love to do or that I look forward to doing on a daily/regular basis. I don't like to sweat and I sometimes spend more time than I should worrying about what people think of me if I do this or that. This has held me back longer than it should have.
I made a new year's resolution to try at least twelve new things this year (sneak peak: I'm on number 14 right now; that blog will come at the end of the year). These "things" could be anything, as long as it is new. I don't "do" new year resolutions and I am one who likes to stay in the lines so this goal is quite a big deal for me. I thought this resolution would help me to be less anxious with new experiences but I'm actually learning a lot more than that.
I've grown into the mindset that I do like to do physically active things that I don't have to be great at (or even good at); I am more interested in experiencing what I am doing than worrying about what people around me think or say about me (honestly, they are usually more worried about themselves than anyone else around them); my body is amazing. I say I'm going to climb this rock wall and my body does it. I say I'm going to participate in this stick work class and my body maneuvers like the novice lover of stick work should. I'm learning to love my body for what it is and that is something I've apparently been working on my whole life.
Fitness is an important part of every life and for those out there that run your marathons, surf for hours on end, flip end over end from the diving board or whatever else it is that tickles your fancy, I give mad props and know I have no intentions to be at that level. The difference now is that I simply don't want to be there, not that I can't be there.