Once upon a time, I trained for a half marathon. I hated nearly every second of training, save for the first 30 minutes of my walk/jogs where I caught up with my training partner on the latest gossip.
I would drag myself out of bed to go on these ridiculously long walk/jogs, bored out of my mind with my feet in pain and hating me. Yet I continued on, mumbling and trying to hide my hatred of this fitness activity that so many others loved. I wanted to feel the runners high, or to feel at peace with the road and nature. Instead, I felt the strong desire to head back to my car a mile in the training run and hightail it to the closest Starbucks.
In hindsight, I realize that I was doing it because it was what "people" did and enjoyed. "People" celebrate those who do distance races, and as someone who had lost weight, I felt I needed to join these "people" and check the task off the fitness list.
Why do I share this? There are hundreds of fitness activities we can experience, yet so many of us chase activities that don't make us happy. I could do an hour long dance class and be as happy as a clam, wishing that the class would run over or that we could learn just one more step. I can lose track of time when swimming laps in the pool, only to realize I've exceeded a mile distance. But strap on some running shoes and push me to walk or jog? Cue uncharacteristic whining.
This weekend, I got excited for a 5K. EXCITED with capital letters! The difference? This 5K threw colored corn starch all over you during the race. I realized while walking with my friends that I still didn't really enjoy the actual walking, but I LOVED when I got to be rewarded with a color bomb every so often.
Fitness isn't one-size-fits-all, and we shouldn't feel ashamed for liking or not liking certain fitness activities. Taking time out of your schedule to take care of yourself doesn't have to be hard or boring or painful. Experiment with different activities, both alone and with friends. Change up the scenery, and mix things up when needed. Fitness and fun can and should be talked about in the same breath!