What often gets you the most excited about fitness is when you find yourself doing something you didn’t set as a goal and weren’t sure was even possible.
When you get fitter it happens broadly, making so many little things better that it is impossible to predict what they will be.
We have our stated goals with fitness, but it’s often the little unexpected surprising moments of ability we didn’t know we had that delight us the most.
And when you experience one of these, it will fuel the fires of motivation to keep you dedicated indefinitely.
Here are some real-life examples:
- A 65-year old grandfather is sitting cross-legged on the floor and gets up directly from the cross-legged position while holding his grandson. (This is the same action that was hyped in the media recently – minus the grandson – as heavily correlating with longevity based on the results of research out of Brazil.) He did it without thinking anything of it and didn’t really notice that he had done it until his adult son pointed it out to him. The beauty of this is that he didn’t need to mentally gear himself up for the effort. He just did it without thought.
- A woman with hip and knee replacements and scoliosis who has previously been very limited in movement climbed in and out of the bleachers “without fear or hesitation” to see her son’s music performance. She told me this when I got a text message from her at night right after the performance – she was so excited that she had to share it right away.
- A woman with several major spine injuries gets better core strength and finds herself doing more chores around the house without thinking or worrying about her body and going for longer and faster walks while listening to her favorite music. At the beginning of one of our sessions, she told me that the neighbors have noticed and commented on how much faster she is walking through the neighborhood.
- A young volleyball player complaining of knee pain gets better alignment in her legs from doing corrective strengthening exercises and not only enjoys dissipation of the pain, but also finds that her vertical leap gets higher and she gets up to hit balls harder and with more range. She didn’t ask to jump higher, just for less knee pain. Her parents called to tell me they could see her jumping higher when they watched her play at a tournament.
When you keep going, staying active, getting more capable, you can handle what comes your way. Your world gets a little bigger as you feel more comfortable and capable in your body.
There’s the goal you ask for, and then there’s the bonus ones you get that you didn’t even realize you wanted until after you’ve gotten it. And that makes it all the more sweet. With fitness, you ALWAYS get more out of it than you put in; it’s just sometimes more of something you didn’t even know you wanted.
This is what the Funtensity approach to life is all about: Make fitness enjoyable and engaging enough that it stimulates a shift in mindset such that you enjoy it enough to do it consistently enough to get the changes to your body and improvements in brain health long-term.
Improving the emotional response to the concept of “exercise” leads to consistent participation – and that’s what opens up the new opportunities.