I’m not gonna lie, last week was a rough week, even for me, someone who thoroughly enjoys working out. I only worked out three days when my usual is five or six.
If life hasn’t shown us anything in 2020, it has shown that you must be willing and ready to adjust at a moment’s notice. It also highlighted that living in the now is much more important than planning and planning and planning for the future. Planning is essential, trust me I'm a serious planner, but the bottom line is tomorrow may never come, or if it does come, it can look totally different than anything we've ever imagined or prepared for, like now. How many of us planned for THIS?
Many of us talk ourselves out of doing things daily for various reasons. Some of us are perfectionist and will tweak until we can’t tweak it anymore. Somehow, even with all of that, it’s still not perfect enough to launch, and so it never does. Others of us are procrastinators and we always feel like we can do it later. We never weigh the possibility that later may never come. In other words, we don't live in the now. Then there are those who are just outright lazy. No matter how convenient it is, how perfect it is, how great the timing it is, you still won’t do it, because you haven’t yet convinced yourself that you deserve it, and so you allow your laziness to dominate you.
Working out is no different. It’s one of those things that everyone agrees is essential to good health, a youthful glow, longevity, necessary energy, and most important, self-care. However, very few of us actually prioritize it in the manner that it deserves. People would rather go work for someone else for 10-12 hours of their day, and then say they don’t have one hour for themselves.
I’m not gonna lie, last week was a rough week, even for me, someone who thoroughly enjoys working out. I only worked out three days last week when my usual is five or six. I was really lazy and I think it’s because of the wall that I usually hit in October around my mom’s birthday and anniversary of her death (same day). Once I pinpointed what that feeling was, I decided to press pass it for two reasons. One, actually getting out of the bed would be more beneficial to my well-being and mental heath, and two I wanted to honor the things that my mom pushed through in life as well.
I’m not suggesting that anyone who is grieving doesn’t deserve to take all the time they need, be it in bed or wherever, because they should. What I am suggesting though is that sometimes, that burst of energy helps balance out that mood. It might serve as a healthy coping mechanism for you, as it does for me.
During this pandemic, we’ve had to adjust to so much from working from home, while trying to help children with their schooling, to re-strategizing our side hustles and additional sources of income, to how we interact with family and friends, to always remembering to take a mask everywhere we go, and the list goes on. The other big shift has been how we workout effectively at home, with little to no equipment. When COVID first hit finding weights anywhere was nearly impossible, and if you could, they were extremely overpriced. But like everything else that you prioritize, you figured it out as best you could, or you made excuses.
If you’re in LA like me, our gyms still are not open. That means that I haven’t been to a gym in seven months. When the gyms originally closed, I was super bummed out because I was in such a great groove and had so many fitness goals that I’d planned to attack. For the first week, I didn’t work out at all. I pouted instead. Lol Again, that didn’t feel good to me, so I knew I needed to do something different. I also weighed the effects of losing all the hard work I had put in for the couple of years prior. If I had given up, it would’ve all gone to waste by now, because we all know it takes everything to earn results, but almost nothing to lose them.
In lieu of the gym, I started getting into new things that I hadn't focused on before like hiking. I fell in love with finding new trails, conquering those heights and miles, and beating my own pace each time. I like to use my kids or even my husband as weights at home and I've ordered all types of water jugs to supplement. Additionally, I've gotten really into body weight and banded exercises. I've implemented outdoor running more as well since I don't have access to a treadmill.
However, my absolute new cardio fav is jumping rope! I jump 10-20 minutes a day most days of the week. It's much easier on your joints than running. Here is what gets me through it with ease: I play my favorite (aka most ratchet) songs, I jump for a full song, take a 30 sec rest, and then start the next song. Four songs in and your workout is complete! It doesn't take too much, but discipline and consistency are both necessary.
We’ve become such a microwave culture that expects everything instantaneously. We’ll start working out but then once we don’t see abs in one week, we’re over it. We look at manufactured bodies online all day and start beating ourselves up over the God given body we’ve been blessed with. What would be more productive though is to simply take care of the temple God has given us, instead of comparing ourselves to women who appear perfect online when we don’t know how many surgeries or how many filters they are using to appear that way. It’s a waste of energy.
This period of adjustment and living for the now is not a foreign concept. I remember when on my wedding day, I had planned a cute outdoor garden wedding, but it rained. It didn’t just rain though, it waited until literally 7pm, the exact wedding start time, to start raining. I still have the pictures of our guests running in the rain, trying to get inside from the patio. I was extremely emotional that day because my vision was completely ruined. I remember Pastor McGriff’s message for the occasion was that in in life you must adjust. He said that day was just a sign of what’s to come in marriage and in life where we can plan things as much as we want, but we must always be willing and able to adjust. Let me just tell you, HE AIN’T NEVER LIED!
So here we are now, once again, in a space where we’re still having to adjust. Look, whatever has already happened is over with. It’s in the past at this point. The question now is what are you going to do to finish out this year strong? How will you prioritize your health? Are you going to wait until the new year to be one of those New Year’s resolution people who don’t even make it until February? Are you going to wait to start after the holidays because you know you lack discipline? Are you waiting until next Monday because it’s your friend’s birthday and you must turn up this weekend? I mean there is always an excuse available if you’re looking for it. On the other hand, you can do the easier thing, and just do it!
Be among the people who work out even when they don’t feel like it. Be one to look for opportunity instead of excuses. Make the commitment to navigate life changes and priorities, while making the proper adjustments as necessary, to continue to have success. I can’t make you do it. It’s up to you. I want it for you though because I strongly believe that you deserve the best. However, you must want it for yourself more than I want it for you. And if you do want it, like many of you tell me each day in my DMs and inboxes, then my only question is, what are you waiting for?
With Love, Michelle L.