Exercise… Let's be honest most people hate it. It's true, come on we can admit it. For the most part, people exercise because they feel like they have to, or more importantly they need to for health reasons. Heart or lung issues, or simply excess weight can cause serious health effects.
But what happens when you exercise for “the fun of it?" Jump in a game of softball or basketball, play kickball with your kids. It definitely takes exercise to a whole new level when you are now doing it just for fun.
I recently encouraged my boot camp group to sign up for a mud run in Harriman, NY. We decided to do this way back in January. "Sign up," I said, "it would be fun!"
As it turned out we were quite a crowd. Not only did they all sign up, they extended the invite out to friends, spouses, cousins, and their college age kids. Everyone was very excited (at the moment), so we all went home and signed up for the 10:30 slot in the Run a Muck race in Harriman, NY. It would be a 3.2 mile mud run with some obstacles.
As the months past we talked about it barely, it seemed so far off. I handed out training sessions and information on ordering team shirts, but again at this point its only March and still a fleeting thought.
As the months rolled by and the date drew closer I began to get various messages of fear, concern and out-and-out scared to death. My response was, "do the training for the miles and don’t worry, it’s all just for fun." This was the message I was trying to convey to them all. I was doing my best to keep them calm.
We all meet with our team shirts on and take pictures. You can see the fear on faces of some who have never run a race, let alone a mud race up a mountain. But still I kept letting my message ring through their ears. It’s all for fun.
So there we were lining up to run what we all thought was 3 miles which in fact was 4 (probably better not knowing beforehand). But at this point something was different. I didn’t hear fear or concern anymore, I heard happiness and they were all laughing and having a great time getting ready to run, crawl, climb and even take a little muddy swim. Everyone was just having fun and I don’t think they were even thinking, "hey this is exercise, and I am about to run up a rocky mountain."
Little by little the team was finishing, as they approached the finish line the rest of the team was there waiting for them with muddy hugs, high fives and with endless smiles and laughter. I was so very happy and proud of my team that they all set their mind to do this, put their fears and anxieties aside, and just went out and had fun. They did the best they could do, and enjoyed every minute. It was remarkable to me in the end watching all these people who were so anxious, and scared a few days ago now laughing and just having a good time. What an amazing feeling watching this team support each other, some only meeting here for the first time. The feeling of camaraderie was amazing!
In the end everyone had one goal in mind on June 16 in Harriman and it was to just have fun! And they DID!
So try it. Set up an activity for fun with your friends, family or your kids; heck do it with all of them! The more the merrier! Keep moving!
You are stronger than you think.