You don’t have to be an athlete!

In my youth I was a dancer.  And the amount of time I put into it, you could say I was an über-athlete.  But in my 30’s and 40’s raising two kids and running a small business I have realized I will never again be an athlete.  For a while this was hard to accept. I would see all kinds of women and men, running.  They run like mad in my town.  There seems to be an obsession with running. (And for excellent reasons-one it’s a great way to stay fit without joining a gym.) I hoped I could fit in to that mold too.  You see, these women that run like mad are all skinny.  I wanted to be like that.  For 18 months I would wake up early and put on my running shoes 3 to 4 times a week.  It took me a while but I worked my way up to running 4 miles without having to walk in between.  I even signed up for some 5k races, and a couple of 5 mile races in Central Park.  But I never felt good doing it.  I didn’t experience the runner’s high I heard so much about.  It just hurt.  My lungs, my legs, my joints.  Eventually my body told me to stop, I had pain in my right hip and left knee that said “please stop.”  So I did.  It took a year to clear up those joint issues with therapy, Pilates and stretching.  I decided to do what works for me for exercise and not what works for everyone else.

Funny how life is like that. Our life lessons are usually about acceptance.

Acceptance of ourselves, our bodies our capabilities, our unique gifts and talents.  Loving ourselves for what we have to offer instead of hating ourselves for what we don’t possess. 

And…acceptance for where we are in our lives right now!

So, you won’t see me training for a tri-athlon, half marathon or a marathon.  And after years of working with many individuals, I have come to the belief that not all bodies are capable of this type of workout.  If you are motivated and you can do these activities, please do them.  But if if doesn’t work for you, don’t despair!  Keep trying new things until you find what works and don’t give up.

So I’ve given up my dream of being a super athlete and I have learned to appreciate what I can do.  I can walk.  I can even jog short distances at a slow pace.  And I can do lots of Pilates! I can also ski and swim and stretch. And even though walkers and runners consistently pass me by when I am out on the road, I am so happy that I am doing what I can and what is right for my body to stay healthy.  Without being a super athlete!

Once we stop moving we stop creating. Movement stimulates the mind.  So whatever it is that you are capable of – don’t stop, just do it and don’t compare yourself to anyone else!


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