“We’re all off track most of the time. Just realizing this is a significant step….Knowing we’re off track is really an invitation to realign ourselves and recommit to our destination.” – Stephen Covey
Today a message popped up on my phone to congratulate me on a full month of exercising every day. Sweet! Let me disclose that I have never stepped foot in a gym, and I lean towards slow exercise like walking, tai chi, or yoga. So this new year obsession with tightening and toning my muscles (ahem, flab) is strange and left field. I am, however, the sort of person that nerds out to the nth degree on researching a new hobby. I have enough affirmations and tracking devices to keep an entire basketball team motivated and on track. Except, wait, didn’t I just get off track myself?
I haven’t set the bar super high, figuring that this new goal would be obtainable if I gave myself some leeway. Basically, I have a Seven (minute) workout app that tracks my progress day-by-day. I expect that I can complete the bare minimum of one seven minute workout a day. Honestly, I don’t know why I even missed that one workout. It would have been more interesting if I had missed it on account of some great drama, but alas it just slipped my mind. Life is what happens when you’re making other plans, right?
I’m on that teeter where I feel like I could be on the slow descent into breaking this new habit. It certainly wouldn’t be the first time. There is a deeper agenda here though – a mission to find my own strength. I have not pushed myself to lose weight or judged my body since I gave birth. I am indifferent to the “real woman body” posts as much as the “super toned had-my-baby-two-weeks-ago” posts because at the heart of it is a heavy and hurtful judgment to the other camp. When I was a teenager, it was all about bashing Gap models for their impossible thin-ness. I was that skinny, and it got really old hearing the “Are you anorexic?” questions. (As an aside, would that question ever convey genuine concern to someone who might be struggling with a serious debilitating disease?) When my children were born, my weight shifted dramatically; the pounds fell down my body like a mudslide to settle on my hips. It is what it is, and it interests me to see how my body has changed over the years.
I am not looking to bench press a heavy weight. I am not interested in joining a gym. I want to develop some fun and healthy ways to get my heart rate going every day. I want to be able to do enough songs on my Zumba app to wear my kids out before I fold myself. I want to know that if the apocalypse struck tomorrow and the only clean water was in Canada that I could walk there (with a kid strapped to my back.) And I want to prove to myself that I have the courage to show up for that every day. For me.
How do you stay “on track”? What is your motivation?
Photo from Flickr Creative Commons, “Train Tracks” by William Warby