Mindset about movement…5 tips to get you out of your own way

Softball.  I highly dislike playing the game of softball.  Well, if I am completely honest with myself….I hate playing softball.  Same goes for volleyball, baseball, and oh, let’s add soccer in there too.  

Ok, so to be clear, I don’t actually hate these sports themselves, I was just never any good at playing them.  

softball-collage

The absolute dread of having to play team sports in school

When I say never any good at playing them…I mean really BAD at playing them. I think it was a coordination issue.

Because I had such dreadful experiences with these sports, I started to have a negative attitude towards exercise in general.  I was no good at it so why bother.  Besides, don’t you have to play team sports to be considered athletic?

This was my mindset for a very long time about exercise and fitness.  I had that all or nothing way of thinking; it had to be team sports or you could never be considered physically active.

( Ladies, if you can relate to this and want to turn this around; I am hosting a FREE 14 day #MYMCC = Master Your Motivation Consistency Challenge which starts May 1st.  Click here for the details and to register.)

Of course this way of thinking is utter nonsense- but it was the story I kept telling myself for years.

So what that I was terrible at team sports?  Team sports does not an athlete make!  

I was always super active as a kid.  I loved riding my bike, playing one on one basketball with my dad, hiking, skateboarding, and taking really long walks with my best friend around our neighborhood after dinner.  

But none of this counted in my mind, at the time, as exercise.  I thought I  was just a lazy kid. 

As I got older, I fell in love with dancing.  Not the structured kind;  the going to the club kind.  My friends and I would dance for hours and  hours til we closed down the joint. We’d be drenched in sweat by the end of the night because we loved dancing so much. But if someone had asked me if I had worked out back then, I would have said no. Dancing couldn’t really count as exercise could it?  Nope, of course not.  It wasn’t a “team sport.”

Flash forward to today.  I am still super active; I teach group fitness classes 3 times a week, absolutely adore kettlebell training, lifting weights, cardio kickboxing, circuit training, walking, hiking, biking & even running the occasional 5K (took 2nd place in my age group a few weeks ago :-)).   I even still love dancing around the house.

Do I still consider myself to be “lazy” or “inactive”?  Hell no!

I have had a complete shift in mindset.  I don’t know why it took me so long to realize that you don’t have to participate in team sports or individual sports to be considered active or even athletic! 

I love movement.  It makes me feel amazing. I love to be challenged.  It makes me feel strong and healthy and vibrant!

I don’t love ALL types of movement-(by now you get the idea of my team sports issue LOL).

I’m not much into gardening, but that’s definitely movement.  Swimming, skating, shoveling snow, cleaning the house (this one is unavoidable), Tai Chi, Pilates, Golf and Tennis, just to name a few, are either types of movement I have never tried, don’t have any interest in, or just plain don’t like to do.

But that doesn’t mean that someone else doesn’t like them.  It doesn’t mean they have to like the type of movement that I like to do.  And it certainly doesn’t mean that these aren’t legitimate ways to move our bodies.  They absolutely are!

The point is that our perception of movement is really all about mindset isn’t it.

Movement is a natural part of our human nature.  We need it not only to thrive, but to survive!

Sadly though, many people have the mentality  I used to have about exercise.  I see it everyday.  They feel like if  they’re not spending hours at the gym doing a bunch of exercises that they dread, then why bother doing anything at all.

All or nothing thinking at it’s best.

So what can we do to start connecting with the joy of moving our bodies?  Cause let’s face it;  sitting on our butts all day everyday isn’t going to do us any favors in helping us lead a long healthy life.

May I suggest that we:

1. Start small, especially if you haven’t engaged in much movement lately.  This could be as simple as some basic stretching which helps you get the body ready for more motion and they just plain feel good!  I have posted some great stretches to get you started:

2. Take a trip down memory lane.  I was talking with a new client a few days ago and she told me she doesn’t like any exercise at all.  None.  There is nothing she likes to do to get moving. She told me she would rather sit all day long and read a book. She literally called herself “lazy”.

As I continued chatting with her, I started asking questions about activities she enjoyed in past years.  Suddenly she remembered how much she loves rowing.   She used to be on a rowing team years ago and hadn’t really thought about it in awhile.  We started a discussion on how she could get back into rowing again.  Her negative energy towards exercise was now starting to shift.  Rowing was so natural to her…she didn’t consider it to be exercise (sound familiar?).

Perhaps a trip down your memory lane will reveal the activities you used to love to do. You might discover a forgotten treasure.

3. Don’t compare yourself to others!  So what if the neighbor down the street runs half marathons every other day!  Maybe you’ve got dance moves like no other that would put him or her to shame.  We are all at unique with different skill sets.  You just enjoy what you like to do and own it!  Nobody else can move your body the way you can!

4.  DO NOT get into the dreaded “diet and exercise” headspace of, “how many calories is this movement burning”.  NO no no no no NO!

 I suspect this has played a part as to why people have given up on regular  movement and exercise.  We were sold the idea that our bodies function like “calculators” and that it has to be about “calories in and calories out” so we figure why bother if we can’t burn hundreds of calories every time we move.   The idea is to find ways of moving your body in ways YOU love, ways that make you feel good.  I don’t care if it burns 3 calories or 3,000,  live in the moment, connect with your body, and  fall back in love with moving it! 

5. Celebrate your victories and give yourself mad props!  Did you garden for 20 minutes today?  Fantastic! Did you play air guitar to your favorite jams.. Shout about it all over your social media!  Maybe you did yoga, went for a swim, or walked 2 houses up the street for the first time in months or longer….AWESOME!!!!   Exercise and movement have a  cumulative effect….it all counts!

Rinse and Repeat.

“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at will change”. -Dr. Wayne Dyer.

True words.  

Want to conquer this together ladies?  Here’s the link  once again to sign up for the #MYMCC challenge!

#FORTHELOVEOFMOVEMENT #MYMCC #ALLMOVEMENTMATTERS