Quiet the critic

When I talk to women who are at the start of defining what fitness means to them; who are just beginning to incorporate exercise as a regular habit into their lifestyle, I am always amazed at how quickly the voice of our inner critic starts to speak up.

I can literally be having a conversation about how someone has just finished her first week of our Find Your Fit program, and in one week she’s worked out more than she has in 6 months, and she’s feeling happy and proud of herself, and then the next sentence will be spoken sadly or critically, as if to discredit herself and the week of effort, “Well, it’s not like I ran a marathon or something. I mean, I’ll never climb Mount Everest.”

Personally, I love when people pick races or events - it was in signing up for a triathlon that I changed my life, understood the power in my body and mind, and grew in confidence. A finish line will change your perspective on so many things, it will change your life.

Big goals are worthy goals. You should have them. It is not silly or outlandish. Not so long as you’re willing to work for them! That said, your first race probably shouldn’t be a marathon or an Ironman, but some smaller races that lead you up to those events. If a 10k run is your big goal, that’s amazing! Despite some of the distances I’ve got under my belt, a 10k race intimidates me at the moment.

The thing is, if you’re just starting out on your journey, if you’re just starting to set fitness goals and you’re doing the bare minimum, you need to know and believe you’re doing a great job. The bare minimum is still something, and doing something means everything when you’re just getting started. It’s important to build up your confidence, to take time and care in developing/training your body for the conditioning that needs to take place to meet your goals and ambitions - no matter what they are.

I would love it if women everywhere could know the power in their abilities and what they want to do - to define fitness for themselves, and be proud of their practice. If you’re ambition is to work out three times per week for thirty minutes, great. Own that and be proud of it. If that’s your goal and you’re meeting it, your “race” is no different than the gals who are signing up to do races - you’re chasing your race... there just may not be a medal at the finish line waiting for you.

Let the voice of doubt, the critic in your mind who wants to keep you safe and small, let them be silenced. Put them to rest by assuring yourself of exactly what it is you want to do and how you’re going to achieve it, and never discredit where you are in the process, but honor it and enjoy the steps you’re taking and the work you’re doing. Whether it’s regular fitness/exercises or a marathon you have in your sights, we all start somewhere and we won’t get there if we let the little voices throw rocks at our efforts and ambitions.

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