Tomorrow’s my birthday (yay), and my biggest wish? That people start seeing fitness as it’s own reward, and not a means to an end.
Weight-loss & body shaping are fabulous by-products of getting fitter… but there’s so much more to love about getting sweaty on the regular and pushing yourself hard. So, I decided to sit down and make a top 10 list of my favorite things. Which became a top 25 list… which turned into a top 50. I could go on forever.. I love so many things about fitness & how it’s wriggled its way into my life.
Here’s an ‘ever-in-progress’ look at my fav fitness ‘things’ & ‘moments’. This is what keeps me loving what I do. :)
Disclaimer: While I mention this has nothing to do with looks, I mean the ‘pressure’ to look a certain way. I like seeing myself in the mirror most days, and that’s not a bad thing (like a fascinated animal, I like seeing myself move). But the things on this list represent what I like about MY body, or how staying fit has allowed me to notice certain things that I didn’t know I loved (like how flushed my skin gets after a workout, or how shiny & muscled my arms are when I kickbox). Those things might not be your cup of tea, but that’s just it: this isn’t about other people, societal pressure, or anything else. THAT’s the difference.
My favorite fitness things…That have NOTHING to do with weight-loss or looks.
- Sports bras with a wee-bit of padding. Helps the ego yes, BUT gives me a little extra squeeze to keep my girls in control during jumps.
- The ‘I’m a beast’ pride feeling you get when you realize you can do something for the first time that you couldn’t do before.
- Sparkly workout shorts & gear. Sparkly anything really. I like sparkles.
- When I can feel my entire core when I laugh or giggle.
- Motivational messages on my blackboard at home. I leave them for myself, but still. What was once cheesy now inspires me while I pee.
- Trying something for the first time and being nervous but not terrified.
- ‘Fancy water bottle’ talk with other fitties at the water fountain. Ridges, temperature control, BPA free… sexy.
- When I can ‘feel’ the muscles deep within in my glutes without touching them, the muscles you can’t get to, even with a massage. I like getting taller in my chair when I squeeze them together.
- When I meet someone who knows what a burpee is, already has their own PR and we talk about different ways to do them. Fit nerd style.
- That ‘UGH- Ohhhh - Ahhhhh- Ugh’ feeling when you’re stretching a muscle that’s really, REALLY sore. Borders painful, but you know you have to do it because it will get better. Tomorrow.
- Children who assume I’m a superhero based on my workout outfits, and general badass-ness. They’re not completely wrong, depending how you look at it.
- How healthy my skin looks after a workout. Fully flushed, no makeup, naturally wonderful.
- Having people I haven’t spoken to in years ask me to work out with them on Facebook, based on status updates & posted pics.
- Having people I haven’t spoken to in years ask me to work out with them on Facebook… and PAY me to do it. :)
- My instinct to automatically ‘high kick’ when I get excited about something. (hence the alter-ego ‘Chichi Kix’ - Thanks Sharon!)
- Trying to ‘beat’ the people on the escalator when I take the stairs next to them.
- The inspiration I get when I see someone overweight riding a bike, or going for a jog. Every cell in my body roots for them and I get inspired to push myself harder.
- When people underestimate how strong I really am and I pick up something abnormally heavy to show them. Sometimes, I surprise myself. Sometimes I pick THEM up. All in the legs baby.
- When beads of sweat wick off the ends of my hair & bangs when I’m moving fast or shaking it hard.
- When I feel sweat dripping down my lower back and catch a glimpse of it in my reflection. Totally check myself out every time.
- ‘5 more minutes. You can do 5 minutes of anything’. On repeat in my head.
- Finding ‘new’ muscles.
- When my exercise moves go PERFECTLY with the music, like they were designed for each other (and sometimes, they are). If you don’t know what I mean, try burpees to ‘TubThumping’ - see below.
- Looking at all my fitness DVD’s and home gear I’ve collected over the years. Just looking at it. When it’s organized and pretty.
- Being able to stay on the dance floor longer now than I did at 18 years old. AND being able to put others on the floor to shame. You just wait til I’m forty. :)
- Wearing my yoga mat & bag like it’s a purse/badge of honor.
- Knowing that I can run for my life if I need to, and escape zombies. For a long while anyways: at some point I will need to sleep, but I can climb somewhere really high.
- Feeling the wind on my sweaty, glistening face.
- Connecting with other fitties via Social Media & getting the most kick ass comments/ideas/questions & more. I really have the best followers/friends/fans ever. It feels weird to say that. Fans? We’ll stick with fellow bad asses, ok? :)
- My special connection to the song ‘Mortal Kombat’. Nothing gets me out of bed faster. Test your might.
- When I’ve given my all, and (momentarily) collapse on the floor in a heap of myself.
- When I catch someone watching me workout in the park, and see them suddenly bang out a set of crunches, when they clearly weren’t dressed for it.
- Feeling the first ‘sweat’ break the skin after the warmup (usually during the stretch).
- My kick ass sex life. No, seriously. Stamina, strength, endurance, flexibility… sexiest, funnest time of my life :)
- Wringing out my sports bra before I jump in the shower and seeing how much sweat comes out.
- Watching boys check themselves out in the gym mirror. Giggle EVERY time.
- Sharing fitness with others & seeing their faces when they surprise themselves with how far they can push themselves. Watching people be proud of themselves makes my job worth it.
- Mmmmmm….. Massages.
- Doing pushups like a Marine.
- When workouts feel like I’m playing. Playing, REALLY hard.
- SHOES! New shoes in general, but workout shoes… oh baby.
- Caressing my bum through Lululemon pants. Thighs too. Hell, I’ll touch anything wrapped in Lulu’s. Love it.
- Skipping. Not with a jump rope. Skipping like ‘La-La-La’ skipping. And swinging my arms when I do it.
- That after workout ‘sexy’ feeling followed by mandatory ‘flirting with myself’ time in the mirror.
- My ‘energy’ MP3 player. One entire player with nothing under 140BPM, guaranteed. On shuffle, it’s brilliant.
- Anticipating the release of new DVD’s.
- The after workout shower (after the ‘I feel sexy’ turns into ‘I feel gross’).
- Knowing it’s okay to eat that piece of cake.
- The shortened time it takes for me to catch my breath when I push hard.
- Pushing past limits that I thought were “set” when it came to my body. This is especially meaningful, since I’m besties with a body & brain that have with certain obstacles - persistent (and sometimes consistent) pain, hormonal issues, infertility, anxiety/depression - and I’ve had a REALLY hard time dealing with all of those things, physically & emotionally. Knowing that I’m in control, that I can still get better at things, that I can push myself farther than I knew possible, that I’m not limited by a body that isn’t ideal and that I am strong enough, fierce enough, tough enough & good enough? By far the sweetest, best & most important part of my fitness journey. Forget the banging booty. THIS is why I do what I do.. More to come.:)
What about you? What would you add to this list?