Thursday, October 4

Guest Post: Life Lessons Learned from Fitness

At Ultimate Bootcamp, we always love to hear from people who love health and fitness and get their perspective on what makes a great workout. This is the first in an ongoing series of fitness guest posts sharing fitness tips, advice and ideas for our Boston and Providence Ultimate Bootcampers and fitness enthusiasts!

Hi everyone! I’m Erin, and I am a yoga-loving, whole-food eating Creative Soul in Motion based in Boston. Through writing and coaching I empower people to find growth and happiness through active, courageous and mindful living.

Have you ever noticed that fitness instructors are a pretty wise and knowledgeable bunch? Not just about physical activities, but about life in general. In fact, I’ve found that most of the advice they give in class is valuable for life outside of a workout as well.

For instance, one of my spinning instructors starts every class with the resounding words: “this is YOUR ride, YOUR ride only.” It’s her way of reminding us to push ourselves rather than competing with our neighbor. This is great advice on and off the bike as I have recently understood that we’re all on different bikes. Not just in spinning class – but in life.

Every single one of us is as unique as our fingerprints: we have different backgrounds, history, lineage, passions, personalities, struggles, breakthroughs, paths. So why do we bother with jealousy and comparison when there is absolutely NO way to compare yourself to anyone else?! You can’t control anyone and you can’t be like anyone else – all you can do is live your own life and do the best you can. It truly is your ride, your ride only.

Another life lesson I learned through fitness was actually grasped on the yoga mat… It was the first time I nailed Crow – a super hard position where you essentially lean your entire body weight on your triceps while trying not to face plant into the ground. Well, I held the super hard position for 10 seconds (a record for me) – my instructor even clapped a little when she saw me – and just as I was about to come out of it I fell forward and then over, loudly landing in a pile on my yoga mat. Not only did my instructor notice, but the entire class did – and everyone was staring at me waiting for my reaction.

And at that moment I realized that I could take it way too seriously and get frustrated OR I could laugh at myself. So I laughed out loud, a big belly laugh and soon the whole class was laughing too. You know what? Not only did it make me realize how fun and silly the situation really was, but it also helped me feel confident to try again later. The world didn’t end when I fell over, so why get all upset? Why feel embarrassed or frustrated? I chose to see the humor instead and since then I’ve realized: Life is a lot more fun when you learn to laugh at yourself.

Lately I’ve been noticing that there are lots of these “learning moments” in my fitness classes:

During Zumba the instructors encourage us to “dance like no one is watching.”
My boxing coach reminds me “to focus on one thing, one thing only.”
And throughout sports conditioning the instructor yells at us to “give it our all.”

Not only is this advice useful in class but it’s valuable for all of life. These lessons aren’t meant to be left on the gym floor along with my sweaty towel. They’re meant to be taken to heart and carried with me throughout my day, throughout my life.

So I’m curious, what lessons have you learned through fitness? I’d love to hear them! You can share them in the comments here, or connect with me through Twitter (@IamCre8tiveSoul) or on Facebook.

Remember: Life is a daring adventure!

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