I have a confession to make: I’m not an athlete.
Rather, I’m not athletic in any sense of the word. I’m already well aware of and comfortable with this aspect of myself, but it becomes particularly evident during my many adventures as editor of a fitness magazine.
One such venture for this issue was trying out FootGolf, a hybrid sport that joins soccer and – you guessed it – golf. A simple concept to grasp. A fun sport to play.
I played a few holes (a standard game is nine or 18) with staff writer and copy editor Chris Gaitten who, unbeknownst to me, actually used to play soccer. Goody.
While we played for enjoyment and to capture photos, I quickly learned that the sport was less about athletic ability, body strength or foot skills than I previously thought. Chris had proper form and power; I had on cool shoes.
But my strategy often allowed me to sink my ball into the 21-inch hole quicker and easier. Despite my competitive nature, my winning strategy is not the point. The important part of the story is that after 45 minutes of play – a soft, breezy, photo-happy 45 minutes, mind you – I was actually sore the next day. Shin splints! Sore! I’m 24. I’m spry. I work out. I eat (mostly) healthy. I practice yoga daily. But just like my ability to play FootGolf did not hinge on my lack of athleticism, being “fit” or “healthy” is also not dependent on any single factor.
Our summer Fit Challenge couple, for example, learned that the hard way, and are beginning to reap the benefits of that lesson. They learned that a grocery-shopping strategy or creative meal plan is not enough. Working out with a personal trainer is not enough. Simply taking a jog or classes at a gym is not enough.
And who defines what is enough? You do. Your goals do.
It’s all about a lifestyle change. I was probably sore because I’m still figuring that out, still looking at all the moving parts of my life and adjusting them to be truly healthy choices. It’s about breaking bad habits, improving upon habits that could use it, and finding what works for you.
If something isn’t working for you, don’t do it. That personal trainer doesn’t float your boat? Find a new one. Finding it difficult to go to the gym every day? Don’t force yourself to go, and find something that gets your body moving in a way that you enjoy!
I hate running. So I ride a bike. I have a slight ice cream addiction; I don’t beat myself up for indulging, but I choose to treat myself to it only once a week.
Hey, FootGolf might not be my thing. But it could be for you. Try something out. Try several things. Find what you like and do that.
After all, Fit Columbus isn’t about attaining some idealized standard of perfection, or even defining what the perfect physique, diet or lifestyle is all about. It’s about arming yourself with knowledge and perspective, pursuing an active, healthy life that you enjoy, and striving to become a little better each day.