I never used to love health and fitness, the second of my passions. At school I hated sport. I would hide in the toilets at try and avoid it. I walked the cross country, and school sports carnival was a nice day out in the grand stand with friends. After school finished I had a brief interlude with g-string leotards and the gym but it didn’t last long. Then something strange happened.
I turned 24 or 25, my brain blew a fuse and all of a sudden I was joining a running group. Not only that, I was actually showing up. Me, who never ran unless I was late for the train. And I loved it. Who knew my legs could run! My friends, thought I’d lost the plot.
Not only did I start running, I joined a triathlon group and started training 10-14 times a week.
Triathlon made me realise what being passionate about something meant. I just loved it. I ate, slept, woke, spoke and socialised triathlon. I talked to anyone who would listen about it, how great it was. I was passionate about how exercise made me feel. I was happier, lighter, healthier, and I had more energy.
Then I became Robert de Castella, well not really but I actually had the skills, the drive and the motivation to compete. I became passionate about setting goals, training and achieving them. I never thought I’d be good enough at sport to do that. And I competed a lot. Noosa, Mooloolaba, Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Raby Bay, Bulimba, the murky brown Brisbane River and Bondi Beach. I did fun runs, ocean swims, half marathons and 80klm bike rides. I felt ten foot tall and bullet proof. If I could register for a race I wanted to be part of it. If I could talk training plans with someone I did.
Later, I became even more passionate about keeping fit when I realised it and yoga were a key part of managing, what was then, and every now and then still is, an over whelming sense of anxiety. Turns out flooding your body with endorphins is good for the psyche.
What wasn’t good for the psyche was my growing waistline in life after triathlon. In between and after having two kids, plus living in some very social mining towns and the creeping onset of 40, I put on almost 10 kilos. I realised I had to take action with what I ate. So I decreased what I ate/drank and increased the protein and unprocessed foods. It worked, I lost the weight. It’s easy to be passionate about health and fitness when that happens.
The other thing that happens with this passion is you find a whole new tribe to hang out with and something to do in what can sometimes be quiet days, especially in a small mining town. Mining towns often have child friendly group fitness classes. People chat, laugh and have a coffee after. It’s a great way to meet new friends.
So my chosen method of keeping fit often changes according to the seasons,enthusiasm, age and where I’m living (try running at 5.00am in a Mudgee winter!) but what won’t change is the agreement that I’ve made with myself to make exercise and good health a non-negotiable part of my life. I’m just too passionate about the benefits they bring. You look better, feel better, sleep better and you have more energy. But let’s not get too carried away.
I’ll always negotiate some time to stop and enjoy some wine, chocolate, cake and exercise free days, after all I’m pretty passionate about them too.
Let’s just hope I’m never passionate about g-string leotards again, that’s one thing the world can do without!
What drives you to get your trainers on? or are you more motivated by the tv guide?
Five reasons to be passionate about health and fitness
- You look better, feel better and sleep better.
- You have increased motivation to set and achieve goals
- Exercise and a good diet is a drug free way to help with anxiety
- Exercise is a great way to meet new friends and find your tribe
- Exercise gives you a guilt free way to enjoy the treats in life!