Starting over, again, is no fun. It’s not sexy, it’s not easy, and we know it. But we find ourselves here just about every year at this time. The snow and cold is starting to break. The roads are wet but they’re not icy and full of snow. You can feel spring right around the corner. Some of us wait for 60 degrees to start running outside. Others were out there yesterday because 35 felt like 60 after the winter we had. Whenever you start exercising again, most of us are picking it up again after being away for quite a few months.
Maybe you took all of last year off. Maybe you have taken the last few years off. Or maybe you haven’t done athletics since you finished your last season senior year of high school. No matter how long it’s been since you’ve been physically active, it’s time to get back at it again. It’s time to remember what it was like to max out your lungs. Do you remember how exhilarating it was to have a great lifting session? Do you remember the thrill of running the court on a fast break? How about sweating completely through your shirt? Or even losing a game by one goal, yet fully content because you were the one in the game. You were in the game! You were out there with your team, with your friends, giving it your all.
Sport is good for the body, it’s good for the soul. And yet so many of us just don’t make the time anymore. I have three kids and a ton of work in front of me. I get it. But I also know the science of exercise. I know what that blood flow does for our body, our mind, and even the relationships in our lives. And I still find myself starting over again this season. I’ve been on a few runs and they felt ok. But I’m nowhere close to where I want to be for this season. I’m starting over.
One core element of my training philosophy is having a race or an event on your schedule. I think the people who workout just for the sake of working out are few and far between. As you begin your introduction back into fitness, consider putting an event or a race on your schedule. The commitment and defined finish line will do wonders for your effort and motivation.
Starting over is a part of life. It’s certainly part of an athlete’s life. It will require a short season of clunky running, sore muscles, and even general fatigue. But if you stay with it, you will reap the benefits and be glad that you started when you did. Let’s be known as a group of people who got up when we were knocked down, started when we’ve been away, trained hard to reach the finish line. It’s ok to start again. Don’t focus on “again”; focus on start.