Why It's Okay to Say NO to Extreme Fitness
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The phrase “no pain no gain” has been around for a while but with “insane” workouts and fitspiration photos of ripped bodies it seems to have gone to a new level. When did the gold standard of a good workout become dropping with exhaustion or pain so bad you can’t bend your arms?

I am not a bad ass.

I don’t go into beast mode.

I don’t believe puking should be a badge of workout honor.

I am not ripped. I do not have a six-pack. I admire them but I also know what has to be sacrificed to obtain a chiseled mid section. I don’t want to do figure competitions and strut my stuff on stage in a tiny bikini and high heels. I have a hard enough time wearing a bikini in front of my family much less an auditorium of strangers. I don’t think I have ever posted a selfie of myself flexing. If I’m wrong, call me out. I am sure if I did it was more for humor than to actually show off.

I have no desire currently to train for a marathon. I never say never but right now it’s kind of NEVER. I like having my Sunday mornings to eat pancakes with Brian and go for a bike ride. I may chose to run but I’m not sure I want it to be a requirement. I don’t relish the idea of a 20 mile run in Ozarks humidity.

I have NO desire to do a Warrior Dash, Tough Mudder or Spartan run. I’ll train clients who want to do them. I admire their dedication. I just don’t like to get that dirty or face the prospect of electrocution.

I have HUGE respect for people with competition ready physiques or race every other weekend. (Maybe not as much for the people puking after a workout. Yuck.) They have a level of determination and discipline that we could all learn from. Their consistency and commitment is something we should all strive to achieve. They are comfortable with their bodies and know who they are.

I know myself. I have no issue with challenging workouts. I have no problem doing pushups to failure or lifting a weight that is hard to move on the eighth repetition. I like trying to beat my run time. I like to sweat. I am okay stepping out of my comfort zone. I want to feel tired after a workout but still want to feel good at the same time.

I believe there is a middle ground of fitness, somewhere between the mall walker and training for an ultra marathon. There is a level of athlete that is somewhere in between American Ninja Warrior and WipeOut. I am proud to be at that level. It’s certainly not where I saw myself in high school as I was plotting how to get out of P.E. It makes me feel good and let’s me live a full and active life. I’ve been mostly injury free (knock on wood) and can do pretty much anything that I want. It’s a life that is healthy and it’s balanced.

May I also say I am entitled to change my mind. I may take up marathons in my 50s or decide that my 40s is the perfect time to challenge myself with a mud run. Today I am happy lifting, running, biking and doing yoga in my living room.

Be proud of where you are and who you are. Don’t let anyone else make you feel less than because your longest race has been a 5K or you’ve never run at all. Your modified push up is just as valid as their one handed one. Touching your toes is just as big of an accomplishment as their clean and jerk.

I am not a badass. I am not ashamed to admit it. Can I get an AMEN?

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