Do you remember when being active used to be fun? I don’t know about you, but I’ve never had more of a blast being physically active than when I was back in middle school.
I was never a particularly active kid. I’d always much rather play an awesome video game than go outside and ride my bike, so anytime I got off my butt to do something there should have been a multi-day parade thrown in my honor. Despite the sad and depressing fact that these parades never materialized, I’ve managed to stay strong over the years and fight through this emotional pain.
Gym class was pretty dope. I wasn’t really good at any of the activities that we did such as basketball or volleyball, but I wasn’t the worst guy out there either, so that helped keep me from letting the emo set in and going to sulk on the locker room benches. Above all else though, there was one game that I looked forward to more than anything else in the world: dodgeball.
It was fun enough playing with other members of my class; you know, those whose strength, speed and coordination levels were similar to my own. Sure there were those who were a bit better in one of those area than the rest of us, but not by an embarrassing amount. While those days were cool, they weren’t the ones that nearly pushed my mind off the edge and into the dark abyss of insanity.
Every once and awhile, for some sick and twisted reason, our gym teacher picked a side to join and jumped into the fray. His name was Mr. Avery, and he was a monster.
When he was on our team, we felt invincible, like we couldn’t lose; to a bunch of kids it was like having Superman on your team. But when we were on the other side of the half court line wondering if would make it home for dinner that night, the game took an entirely different tone.
Folks were getting taken out left and right; a 12 year old body just isn’t built to handle the blunt force trauma caused by a grown man hurling a rubber ball towards them at the speed of light. I’m usually motivated not by any intrinsic reward, but from the avoidance of shame and embarrassment, and there’s nothing more embarrassing than getting your chest caved in in front of all your homies, regardless of your age.
But hot damn those days were fun! I used that nervousness to my advantage – it kept me sharp, on the edge, where I needed to be. You would’ve thought that I had hornets in my pants with the way I was running around like a certified fool trying to avoid ending up in a body bag. Resistance was futile, so the goal was simple: keep moving or get moved. I’ve heard stories that one fateful day some kid caught one his balls and survived, but I won’t believe it until I see some grainy Youtube footage.
Alright alright, so what was the point of that little trip down memory lane? It’s simple: have some fun.
You’re more likely to be active and stay active if you like what it is that you’re doing. And besides, the journey towards your goal is a lot more interesting when you’re having fun along the way.
Intervals will never hold a long-term spot in my life, but walking on the treadmill will. So will playing the Dance Central game on the XBox 360. Why? Because they’re fun to me. Because I can do them everyday without mustering up some serious mental preparation. I love that it allows me to think, read, and generate new ideas while I’m burning some calories that I otherwise wouldn’t have.
And I’m going to successfully get lean while having one hell of a time doing it.
These methods might not be fun for you, and that’s totally cool. Whatever activity it is that you love and find fun, just make sure to do it and do it consistently – you’ll be so much better off for it, not only physically but mentally as well.
What fun ways do you manage to sneak activity in during the week? Drop your creative methods in the comment section below. If you like this post, please share it those grumpy faces in your life who think that fitness has to be guts and glory all of the time.
Photo Credit: Jinx!