I am excited to introduce you to Janet, a good friend of mine that inspires me to want to live a more healthy lifestyle. I have never been in better shape than when she and her husband, R. B. came over every day for a little over a year and we worked out together in my garage. First we finished Insanity together, then R.B. took over Shawn T’s job and instructed us in even better work outs. It was awesome! He has just recently converted all his awesomeness into his own website/app called Refined Body Fitness, which is like having your own personal trainer anytime you want. Sweet!
Janet has graciously offered to teach us what she has learned from a lifetime of fitness, sports and healthy living.
5 important lifestyle lessons your kids are learning while playing sports.
Growing up, I played sports because they were fun and they brought me recognition. I never thought about how they might help me later in life, unless it was a day dream about playing in the WNBA. Unfortunately, no scouts came looking for a 5’5″ kid with a limited jumper. However, through years of participation I learned a few things that helped me find success in other areas of my life, and which I am now applying in my efforts to live a healthier life.
Perhaps I’m not creative enough, but I cannot think of any sport that does not have some form of boundary. Soccer, basketball, and football have lines on the playing field that must be observed. Running, cycling, and chess (is that a sport?), have rules you must follow. Without boundaries, there is no measurement, without measurement there is no success, or failure. Without boundaries there is only floundering at best and destruction at worst.
As appealing as it sounds to my children to be able to do whatever they want, it is impractical and destructive. While it is true that we can choose to do whatever we like, it is equally true that we cannot choose the consequences. I can choose to run with the basketball, but a traveling violation will require that I give the ball to the other team. I can choose to treat others with disrespect, but they can also choose to not spend time with me. I can choose to ignore the boundaries of a healthy-lifestyle, but there are consequences to that as well.
Every team I ever played for or individual event in which I participated, there was always a goal; win the conference championship, run a personal best in the next race, stop their leading scorer from touching the ball. Goals give us hope. They give us something to look forward to. They give us direction.
What are your goals? What do you hope for? If you don’t have a goal, you can start small, but start. Look to make your goals S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely). Rather than saying, I’m going to workout every day for the next month, be more specific and realistic. Try, “I’m going to complete a 30-40 minute workout, Monday – Saturday at 7:00AM”. I have to plug our new website, Refined Body Fitness, because I am loving using it to help me achieve my exercise goals.
Have fun with your goals, enjoy the journey, and readjust periodically when you get off course.
3. Work Leads to Improvement
In large measure, I owe my work ethic to sports. When I work hard, particularly over an extended period of time, I get better at the task and I begin reaching my goals. THAT is fun! Sure it took some sweat, but the long-term satisfaction is worth it. No matter what the outcome of my efforts, I like myself more. When I work hard to achieve my goal, I can look myself in the mirror with confidence and pride.
I have never been disappointed after working hard, it is “starting” that I usually find more difficult. When life’s efforts weigh down, and healthy eating or a workout seem too hard, I try to focus on the end result that work brings over time. Working hard, reaching goals, and liking myself, are contagious.
Sports taught me never to fear repetition, but to embrace the power that comes from repeated action over time. When I wanted to be a better free-throw shooter, Dad taught me that I had to shoot thousands of free throws.
I love the way Aristotle phrased it,
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
I find that repeating smaller steps towards my goals is easier to maintain over extended periods than large leaps, which become inconsistent after the first few attempts. No one ever improves without the repetition of practice, so we should stop fighting it and embrace it.
To this day I have fond memories of my teammates and coaches. We worked towards the same goals, we won together, we lost together, and we supported each other along the way. There is no shame in admitting we cannot do it on our own. Life is better when shared, and so are our efforts to live a healthy lifestyle.
While there are times when a solitary run is the therapy I need, having a workout partner is usually more enjoyable. Not only do we push each other, but we pick each other up. When I can’t find my motivation, my workout partner lends me theirs and vice versa.
I hope my life lessons, help you in your efforts to live a healthy lifestyle. I’d also like to learn from yours.