I don’t know about you, but I hate the gym. It’s not that I’m lazy (ok, sometimes I am), but I just don’t like the repetition of doing the exact same thing day in and day out, no matter how many new fangled machines there are. My beef with the gym boils down to one thing–I get bored. Quickly. So, with a birthday looming, I’ve been looking for ways to get healthier without stepping foot in the YMCA.
While I own (and shhhh, have downloaded) a plethora of workout DVDs, they also bore the hell out of me. Last year I managed to make it through Level 1 of Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred, but I haven’t been consistant or finished the program since then. No matter how much motivation I have starting out, I can’t get over the fact that by the end of the week, I can quote each “joke,” motivational tip, and command. Which, again, leaves me feeling completely bored and uninspired to do it again.
So….what do you do when you hate the gym and workout DVDs get annoying very easily? You head outdoors!
A few weeks ago Le Kid and I took an impromptu trip to Griffith Park to hike and have a picnic. Despite grabbing onto me for dear life for the first half of the trip because he thought he was going to fall off the side of the mountain (he wasn’t even close), we ended up having a really good time. We had an “adventure” and although it was tough, when we got home I I found myself Googling other local spots for hikes. I found one near me in Rancho Palos Verdes and have been back several times to get it in.
Although I’m not the “outdoorsy” type (no camping, fishing, etc.) I really enjoy going out for hikes. Yes, I feel like I’m going to die when I’m (slowly) making my way up a hill, but at the end, I feel accomplished and the view is just so damn pretty I can barely take it.
These hikes have also given me some time to connect with God, organize my thoughts, and just be generally thankful for how my life is shaping up.
Last week was a mentally difficult one. I was waiting to be paid for several articles I’d written, I was beginning to doubt my choices (again), and I was wondering how I’ll reach my ideal life if I’m so drained from working so hard for others (yes, even as a freelancer). Instead of completely throwing in the towel, my hikes gave me an opportunity to remember all of the things that were going right and that I had to be thankful for. I mean, it’s hard to be depressed when you’re out on a brilliantly clear day with the ocean staring you in the face.
But what I also realized is that while my body is getting healthier and stronger, these hikes serve to strengthen my mental resolve as well, and for a freelancer or anyone working toward a really big, seemingly impossible goal, this is key.
Reaching your goals takes an unlimited amount of mental fortitude. It’s not easy to strike out and dedicate your whole self to your goals. The what-if-I-fail thoughts will kick in. Negativity from those you hoped would have your back happens. And you begin to question what the hell you’re actually doing. You ask yourself what makes you so special that you think that you will make it when many others have tried and failed.
I get it. I’ve been there. Hell, I am there. But what I know to be true is just as much time and effort we put into reaching our goals, we need to also put as much time and effort into taking care of our mental and physical selves while we’re trying to reach them. In the end, there’s no use of making it to the top and being too depressed, disgruntled, or too unhealthy to enjoy it.
How do you make sure you’re taking care of your mental & physical help while you work toward your goals?