Today I went to Lollipop’s Playland as a chaperone for elementary school kids. I spent a lot of time walking around and telling kids what not to do, but I did get to go down the slide once. :)
I also caught a cold from hanging around little kids all week. I suppose that’s what happens when you push yourself and you hang out with germ infested kids. My immune system just couldn’t take it no matter how much Vitamin C I took. So now I’m a sad girl resting on the couch with tissues.
Sometimes you can push your body. Sometimes your body pushes back.
Although this is only a temporary set back that requires simply more fluids and a bit of rest, it’s made me think about how far some people push themselves. I started thinking about this after reading a great post Emily wrote called “You Don’t Have To Run A Marathon” and hearing about how some of the Biggest Loser contestants ran a marathon when previously they had only run a few miles.
A few comments on my last post about my doubts with triathlon training subtly mentioned that maybe I didn’t need to train for a triathlon. I appreciated these comments because I think a lot of times people (especially bloggers) do things because they think it’s trendy. “Oh, that blogger and that blogger and that other blogger ran a half marathon! I should too!” And so on and so on with any kind of sport or activity possible, whether or not they actually find that activity enjoyable.
For me I am obsessed with the idea of completing a triathlon. I think this started back in 2007 when I met a girl who did triathlons and then when I watched Kona. This was before I blogged or knew anything about healthy living blogs. I simply was in awe of these people that did the seemingly impossible. I wanted that – on a much smaller scale – for myself. Completing a sprint triathlon has been my number one goal on my fitness goals list since I started this journey. I only have the 5k goal on there because it’s part of a triathlon. There is something about this sport that seems to captivate me and compels me to try it.
But my obsession with triathlons is different from what I see happening with a lot of other people. They aren’t obsessed. They aren’t even enjoying the activity. They are doing things that they think they “should” be doing because everyone else is doing them. But really? Not everyone is meant to run a marathon.
(photo credit: NBC)
I hate that shows like The Biggest Loser give so many people false expectations. For the last few seasons they have not only given false expectations about weight loss (lose 10 pounds a week or you should feel horrible!) but they also grossly misrepresent the time and effort needed to do something like train for a marathon. The final contestants on the show have roughly a few weeks to train for a marathon. Sure they are in great shape by then, but it gives viewers a false sense of marathon running reality. It makes it seem like everyone can and should be able to run a marathon in a month or so. That just isn’t true.
And that is okay! It’s okay to do your own thing and enjoy the form of activity you love the most.
Like walking? Walk! Enjoy it! Don’t be ashamed that you don’t run.
Like dancing at home to videos? Like weight lifting? Like rowing? Like kickboxing? Like anything that’s not trendy but still gets your heartrate up? Go for it!
Don’t look to TV shows or blogs or anyone but yourself for inspiration and ideas about exercising. Don’t compare yourself to them or set goals based on what others are doing. Do what feels best to you, not what you think you “should” do or “should be able” to do. Those thoughts are small defeats from the beginning. Just do what you love and enjoy it.