There is an old saying – “Do what you love, and you’ll love what you do”. Most people refer to this when it comes to their career choices, but you should also apply this to exercise. Exercising should never be a chore, it should be a celebration of what your body can do.
“If you don’t love what you do, you won’t do it with much conviction or passion.” – Mia Hamm
Finding the right activity that satisfies your body, but also stimulates your mind is very important. For example, I’m a Brazilian jiu jitsu blue belt. The reason why I enjoy it so much is that it challenges my body with different movements while also challenging my mind. I have to be one step ahead of my opponent – it’s like getting a workout while playing chess! Others may find this same enjoyment in dance, yoga, triathlons, volleyball or whatever their activity may be.
“True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and exercise of the body; the two are ever united.” – Wilhelm von Humboldt
When I met my husband, he was a white belt just getting started on his jiu jitsu journey. I was exposed to the martial art but never really showed any interest. At the time, I didn’t have too much of an interest in any type of working out to be honest. I would go to the gym from time to time, but never with much consistency. The truth is, I enjoyed the idea of being in great shape, more than I enjoyed the process of getting there. Once my second child was born and I knew that I was done having kids, I decided to really focus on me and finding my identity, if you will.
My husband fell in love with the art of jiu jitsu, and he’s a great teacher – so we decided to open a gym. It wasn’t long before I started to transition from being the coach’s wife hanging out with a newborn on the side of the mat, to being out there training, sweating, and learning. I was quickly hooked! For a lot of women, all we can think about is what size we are, and/or the numbers on the scale. To live like that sucks, but jiu jitsu gave me freedom from that. Instead of obsessing over my size, I was obsessing over what I learned and how I could improve. The physical changes (aka “the numbers on the scale”) were just side effects of me doing something I loved every day. Finding something I loved to do like jiu jitsu has changed me in so many ways. . . I am so incredibly grateful.
“Exercise should be regarded as tribute to the heart.” – Gene Tunney
It doesn’t matter what you do to exercise, as long as you love it. If you do, you WILL stay consistent – and if you stay consistent, you WILL see results. Most people just need to be willing to try different things. Don’t like the gym? Try yoga. Yoga isn’t for you? Try jiu-jitsu. . . Once you find your thing, staying motivated and consistent won’t be the problem – making yourself take days off will!