Remember when you were a kid running around for hours and hours, jumping up on every little thing you could, rolling around on the ground wrestling and doing all kinds of crazy stuff with your body? Now, as an adult, you begrudgingly go to the gym to do your cardio or lift weights and you go home feeling a little bit more exhausted instead of feeling more alive. Is this true for you? What if it did not have to be this way?
My belief is that movement should be play. Even as an adult, you are entitled to play around and be free with your body.
When I started my personal training practice, I lost the joy in movement. Everything I was taught was so boring to me. Thankfully, martial arts brought play back into my life. At eight weeks postpartum, Pilates became a huge exploration of movement for me. Now that I focus on natural human movement, I have to laugh because of how far I have come from what a human should naturally be able to do, yet it presents an opportunity to celebrate every improvement. I have even developed a dance practice even though I have never done dance formally in my life, but it makes me feel free and I have so much fun doing it! It also really spikes my heart rate and can get me sweaty in a matter of minutes. Sports, of course, is an obvious answer. I look forward to the day when I can play volleyball again!
So, what would movement as play look like for you? If you are somebody that hates going to the gym, how can you develop a practice that you enjoy? Enjoyment allows for a sustainable practice, in which you want to put in the work and you want to do the things in everyday life that will get you the results that you want from your practice. Eating right becomes that much easier, sleeping we becomes that much more restful, your mood is that much more improved. This reframe of what movement can truly mean in your life may be the thing that you have needed to hear. You have permission to have fun working out. We all have our own definitions of fun. There is a practice for you out there.
These days it is so much easier to try different practices out because most practices have a free trial day or a trial period. I hope you take advantage of these trials to see what really fits! Do you like the environment? Do you like the community? Do you like the practice? Do you feel filled up with joy and more energetic than when you first came into the class? If you answer yes to these four questions, then you may have found your play space! Do not give up. Even if you have gone through more 21-day challenges than you can count or you have visited every popular gym in your city and you feel like you just cannot gain traction to get yourself healthy, I promise you, there is a practice out there for you that is waiting for you to discover it!