Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
Are you sitting there, reading this, thinking you would like to exercise someday if you only had the time, the energy, the money to join a gym, someone to watch the kids, cuter clothes, better legs, not so many aches & pains, etc.?
Here’s the bad news: Those are all excuses. And, excuses are no excuse. They are little self-imposed boundaries or limitations that you hide behind. They are obstacles in your way. It’s just your way of telling yourself no.
Here’s the good news: Those are all excuses. You can walk right by them on your way to better health and freedom from self-imposed ideas that degrade your quality of life.
Exercise is all about a better quality of life. It’s about defeating your own inner demons (those “I can’t” ideas) and then working on the outer demons (like excess weight, stiffness, aging, poor endurance, and so on).
Here’s the Truth, Part I:
If Zoe, who has multiple sclerosis and diabetes, wears braces on her back and knee, and uses crutches can finish the New York Marathon in 29 hours, you and I can get up off the couch and take a walk. And another. And another.
You can read more of Zoe’s story on ESPN.
Here’s the Truth, Part II: I was the Queen of Excuses for many, many years. I had plenty of time to smoke cigarettes and watch television and work super-demanding jobs and raise two kids and be married and have a house and a car to take care of and yet I could find no time to exercise. None.
I wanted to, of course. But, but, but, but. I had no time. I smoked, so I couldn’t breathe very well. My favorite TV show was coming on. My kids needed me. I was out of shape, so working out was not comfortable at first. Everyone in the gym was half my size and born doing complicated aerobic routines.
I let all those excuses and more stop me.
Until one day, my doctor said “You know, exercise creates endorphins, which will make you feel better overall and will make those muscle spasms you keep getting not hurt so badly. You might want to try it.” By this time, due to an old injury, I was back in physical therapy and on paid meds. I was not then forty and decided I was too darn young to be that darn old. So, I bought a little exercise bike and vowed that if I never moved a pedal on it, I would sit on it for twenty minutes a day, three days a week. (Yep, the bare minimum.)
Here’s the Truth, Part III:. Seven years later, I exercise regularly. I still have periods of time when I get knocked off the wagon by my own excuses, but I always get back on sooner rather than later. I recognize the excuses and sometimes listen to them, but the truth is exercise makes me feel great. So, I walk a lot, stretch, and I’m starting to lift a few weights and (gasp) jog. Oh, and I finally quit smoking a year and a half ago. My new addiction is endorphins.
So, today, take your own excuses for a walk or a stroll. You can step all over them as you walk your way to a better, happier, and longer life.
For some more highly motivating, inspirational stories of women exercising beyond their obstacles and excuses, I recommend Sole Sisters. It’s about women who run, but don’t let that stop you. As Zoe showed us, you can walk wherever you can run, it just takes longer.