For the entire year, but especially January:
To all the friends/family/acquaintances/strangers you see beginning or restarting their fitness journey – BE ENCOURAGING. BE KIND. BE PATIENT.
People succeed when they’re part of a supportive group of people sharing a similar goal (in this case, becoming healthier). Be part of that group for them. It’s hard enough to be consistent with a fitness routine. Don’t make it more intimidating for beginners.
If you’re working out for the first time, starting up again, or trying to ramp intensity up – BE ENCOURAGING, BE KIND, BE PATIENT – with yourself.
It will be hard at first. Know that with consistency, it becomes easier. Don’t dwell on what you could do in the past. Life is static and we change. How boring would life be if we didn’t have continual hiccups giving us an opportunity to demonstrate our resilience?!
I’ll never forget the January a few years ago when I decided to redeem a Groupon for a few classes at a local kickboxing studio. I was stoked – I love kickboxing. I ended up being disappointed.
The instructors made a judgment on my abilities before they spoke to me and put me in a group below my abilities and left me there. No effort was made on their part to find out I’d done this before – although I think they quickly realized I had, yet they still didn’t challenge me, reach out to me, or communicate effectively with me. Did they not want to put any effort in me, because they thought I was some “resolutioner” who wouldn’t take classes again? They certainly made me feel that way.
As someone regularly attending fitness classes and on the heavier side, I was frustrated with their judgment, but it encouraged me to work harder (and yeah, I never went back, because the atmosphere was obviously not right for me).
And they can suck it, cause now I teach my own fitness boxing class. Nope, not bitter. Ha!
I doubt it would have that effect (to work harder) on everyone, though. What about the people who were starting out there for the first time, as their first workout, in a long time? How would it make them feel? How about some communication with the new students? How about making people feel welcomed? How about asking them about their goals, strengths, weaknesses and contraindications?
I’m grateful for that experience, because it taught me to never be that way as a personal trainer. To never judge someone new, no matter the time of year.
It also made me realize one of the coolest parts of my personal trainer job – being a cheerleader! I get to see my students work hard, grow, accomplish their goals and set new ones, and I get to cheer them along. How cool is that?! Rah rah!
But you don’t have to be a personal trainer to be a cheerleader. You can CHEER and be ENTHUSIASTIC for anyone and yourself! Remember that friend who mentioned starting a fitness routine? Inquire about it. Feeling frustrated with how hard your workout was? Be enthusiastic that you gave it a go, anyway. It WILL get better.
And please, PLEASE, keep in mind that there is something different for everyone. Don’t brush off the fitness program someone decides to do because it’s never what you’d choose, or because it wouldn’t be challenging for you. Don’t be pushy about what you do, or judge people for not being able to do what you do. How boring would life be if we all did the same thing?!
Ok, preaching over.
But one more time: rah, rah!