We all know we're supposed to exercise because #science. We know regular exercise can steer the metabolic ship away from diabetes and other chronic conditions. We know resistance movements counteract the winnowing of muscle mass that naturally happens as we age. We know that raising our heart rates on the regular is key to a healthy cardiovascular system. But we just. cannot. find. our workout groove. Maybe we can help? Here are three hard-won truths we've discovered (so far) on our journey to take care of ourselves and others:
Our WHY #1: He Likes It. Hey Mikey.
There are a million different ways to move your body, to build strength, to raise your heart rate. If an activity didn't catch your interest and hold it long enough for you to gain some sort of skill set? MOVE ON. Guess what? I hate soccer. The ball, the word ‘dribbling’, all of it. So…...I don’t play soccer. Don't like to swim? DON'T SWIM. Don't like to run? DON'T RUN. Like to dance in your underwear to Depeche Mode? Do. It. Do it again and again. Hell, come rent my space for a ‘Dance In Your Underwear’ workout and make a million dollars.
Here's our experience: when I workout I sleep better, deeper (like actually 7-8 hours. IN A ROW). I feel less stabby toward other human beings. And my brain can focus and process ideas. So move how it feels good to move. If you haven’t stumbled on your ’thing’ yet, keep looking, because: I was an indoor kid and the second-to-last kid picked in gym class and if I can find something, you can find something.
Our WHY #2: Make it your own.
When you find a 'something' you like? PLEASE know: aside from performing the movements safely, it's your right to do it however works for YOU. You don’t have to do it as long as or with the same intensity or at the same difficulty level as anyone else. If you're in a place that doesn't make you feel welcome and supported? MOVE ON. Because doing it your way is where it becomes your something you don't want to live without.
So go ahead and do you. Sweat buckets or don't. Close your eyes or keep ‘em open. Sing along to the songs you know or stay tight-lipped. We don't care how "hard" or "little" you work. When you find something you like a little, don't be afraid to do it how it makes you happy.
Our WHY #3: Listen to Rupaul
"If you don't love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?" Rupaul said that.
We've been in the very uncomfortable position of feeling the following IN A GROUP FITNESS CLASS WE CHOSE TO ATTEND: shame, littleness, insecurity. You gotta SUPPORT yourself while you are getting stronger. Every scurrilous glance in the mirror takes days off your life. Every inch of lost flexibility kills a kitten. It's your body every day of the year. Every month of the year. Every morning is an opportunity to feel strong. Every evening is an opportunity to plan how you're going to feel strong tomorrow. Who you are and what you do in the world MATTERS. It's IMPORTANT. Here is our experience: you cannot love what you hope to be without loving who you are. Love who you are.