A friend referred to me as her fitness guru last week. The week before that someone else asked me to mentor her through her first triathlon.
I’m no expert…on fitness, especially. But I think I’ve figured out why people think I am the expert, the guru. It has to do with who I was and who they have seen me become.
My foray into fitness began about 5 years ago. I was 51, out of shape and lacking motivation. After some subtle changes, the occasional walks around the neighborhood turned into short bike rides, which turned into a century, charity bike ride. I began walk/ running, then running. I added swimming and began to imagine that I might possibly be able to complete a sprint triathlon. That was 4 years ago and I’ve completed 13 triathlons since then. The transformation was gradual, and for those who knew me in the beginning, it was significant.
They say the best exercise is the one you will do and the sport of triathlon offered me three options; swim, bike and run. Training for three sports provided variety and the ability to recover from one discipline while working out for another. Balancing and organizing the workouts kept me focused and interested. I wasn’t doing the same sport every day, so I never got bored. Plus, I loved the way I felt when I exercised. I was, and continue to be, grateful to be able to have a body that can swim, bike and run. I never lose sight of the fact that I have not completely succumbed to the aging process, illness or some other circumstance. I love the mental boost endorphins give me. They elevate my mood and keep me feeling positive and optimistic. Finally, my body responded to exercise and training in the best possible way. Body fat decreased, muscle tone improved and overall fitness increased. Triathlon training became a regular part of my life and was profoundly impacting my whole being.
Beyond the obvious physical changes, I was learning to live beyond limits. I was shedding the excuse driven mentality that was holding me back from….experiencing …life! Because I tried something difficult, new and out of reach, I learned about goal setting and that the process it takes to move toward the goal is probably more important than goal achievement. My perspective shifted dramatically and I began to see challenges as opportunities instead of obstacles. My attitude changed as I became a possibility thinker. And I liked that.
So, when my friend refers to me as her fitness guru…I think she means this: I knew you before you had this amazing physical and spiritual transformation. I want what that kind of change in my life. Show me the steps you took to get there…because if you can do it… then, I think I can do it too.