For the longest time, I thought that joy would be found in my “goal weight”. In a size 4 pair of jeans. In being “the hot friend”.
It never occurred to me that my joy would come with calloused hands and calloused feet, with missing toenails, bruises, scars, blood, sweat, and tears.
I never thought joy would be found on a rainy road in the middle of Boston.
I never thought joy would look like pulling a lot of weight off the floor.
I never thought joy would be the product of early mornings, two-a-days, long runs, and workouts that crushed my soul.
But these things continue to bring me joy. Maybe not in that exact moment, but they bring joy to my life as a whole. I have found that I am happiest out on the roads or in the gym. I continue to surprise myself with what I am capable of. I mentioned in my last post that I don’t always like doing these things, but I keep coming back because they help me feel like my best self.
I have fallen in love with my own strength. The more I train and the more I feel like an athlete, the less I care about what size my jeans are. Plus the fact that I lift means that they won’t fit right anyway. The more I learn who I am, the less power the scale has over my happiness.
I know my strength and that enables me to act confidently and to be bold, because I know what I can do. I know what I can endure. I am able to trust myself and take chances because I know that I can surprise myself.
I hope you find the same. I hope you find something that brings you joy. Something that makes you feel strong and powerful and bold. If not, keep looking. It might be in the most unexpected of places. But you’ll find it.
I think there are 2 big myths when it comes to fitness.
1. Fitness is fun all of the time.
That is completely false. If you are having fun 100% of the time, you are probably not working hard enough to challenge yourself. Sometimes it really sucks. It hurts. It makes you want to throw up and cry at the same time.
If you try to avoid the hard work, your goals will always stay out of reach.
I love running. But I also hate it. It hurts and some days I don’t want to go do it and sometimes I sit on the side of the road and cry. But I always come back to it. Because there are moments where it makes me feel so alive and strong. Because it makes me feel limitless. Because I love being a runner and I love what running has done for my life. I don’t always like running, but I keep coming back to it because I love it.
2. Fitness is awful all of the time.
If you genuinely hate what you are doing, do something else!!! Seriously! There are so many ways to get in shape; I’m willing to bet that you can find one that makes you happy at least some of the time.
If you hate your gym time, it is so easy to make excuses to not make it happen. Suddenly you are really tired, and there’s this other thing that I’m sure you are supposed to do and I’m sure you’ll go tomorrow. Or you will come up with another excuse because you would rather do anything else.
So try something else! Try a couple group fitness classes. Get off the treadmill and run outside. Pick up some weights. Do Zumba. Experiment. You will probably find something that makes you feel alive and strong and you won’t always like it, but you will love it. And you will keep coming back to it. Because fitness is supposed to be fun.
At least most of the time.