Passion is a powerful producer of progress.
No, I'm not trying to throw a tongue twister on you this morning, but I was reminded recently of the power of passion.
One of my high school friends posted this status on Facebook: "Yikes, I think I am becoming a tennis addict. I simply love it. I've played every day since Wednesday. I am heading to bed early so that I can participate in a tennis clinic at 0800-0930. I love the feeling of becoming more fit again!!! I am a newbie and only win about 30 percent of the time, but showing improvement and trying my hardest each time I step on the court. I love it and am glad I decided to give it a go in the fall."
I told my friend that I'd love to use this in my column, and she replied, "You could easily add that I am just starting tennis at the ripe ole age of 40+."
Folks, this isn't about exercise as much as it's about playing and doing things that make us smile and laugh through the sweat.
Goals are great motivators but can be limiting. What happens after we lose that baby weight? Those 20 pounds? The three dress sizes? Sometimes we make another goal. Then there are times when we bask in the satisfaction of accomplishment and return to the gym with the sole intent of maintaining what we accomplished. That gets old quick.
If our goals are rooted in our passions, we can't be stopped. Call it the Shangri-La of physical fitness motivation. My friend has found it. And, at the expense of sounding like a late-night infomercial, you can find your goals rooted in passion, too. For only three easy payments of $19.99! Seriously, though, there are ways to find that passion while losing inches, fat and pounds.
Here are four ways to help discover your passion:
- What did you do for fun in grade school or college? Odds are good that you will not have the same recovery time as you did at age 10, but it's also very likely that you will have the same amazing time playing soccer, volleyball or another sport as you did then.
- What sports or athletic activities do you watch? Television, YouTube, Facebook and Vine can captivate your attention with videos of folks doing amazing things.
- What fitness barriers have you faced in the past? You should embrace the fact that those barriers will be there and understand that they merely play the devil's advocate role - offering opinions that are the antithesis of what you want to do.
- Are you introverted or extroverted? Introverted folks tend to prefer activities and sports that are solo-oriented - cycling, tennis, power lifting, swimming and sprinting/jogging. The extroverted among us tend to thrive with team sports and big fitness classes.
Bryant is an author and lecturer who holds several national training certifications. His columns appear biweekly in Health and Wellness. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.