All throughout my childhood, teens, twenties and most of my thirties I actively hated exercise.
I wasn’t very good at anything which meant that I didn’t believe in myself which meant I didn’t try.
Take PE at school. There are few things more torturous for the unfit, uncoordinated and under confident. I was default useless. So scared of going under water, I reached the swimming stage where you were required to dive for a brick and then stopped. In the shallow end. I was so dreadful at netball I was relegated to Goal Defence (for the uninitiated, it is the position furthest away from the action should be). I couldn’t run so I’d sneak off during cross country and go home, and my mum would drive me round to the end of the course and I’d sneak back in the pack. I stood against it, making fun of myself and eventually refusing to participate.
And then, if all that wasn’t enough….. the additional horror. Being picked for a team.
Let’s just say I wasn’t anyone’s first choice (or second, or third).
It took me decades to realise I wasn’t terrible at everything. I was just terrible at the stuff that involved hand eye co-ordination (no racquets required). I was also pretty terrible and jumping over things and throwing things. So essentially, everything that we had to do at school. But eventually, I found my thing and my thing turned out to be the gym. I also love to cycle and to run (a bit).
Now, exercise is a fundamental part of my life.
Exercise calms me when I am anxious or stressed.
It boosts my energy when I am tired.
It gives me confidence.
It supports my whole wellbeing.
It has taught me so much about myself and what I am capable of (spoiler: so much more than I ever believed possible).
Sometimes, it makes me feel a little bit badass.
When I tried to do exercise that I didn’t enjoy it felt like a chore. Now, often, it is the best part of my day. I found my exercise thing. You don’t need to be amazing at it. You don’t need to look good while you are doing it.
You just need to find your thing, and go for it.