There is a woman with special needs that I see every day as I drive through my town on my way to work. She walks in the opposite direction as I am leaving the town center each day. If it is raining or snowing, freezing cold or boiling hot, there she is. I’m not sure where she’s headed on her long walk, but wherever she’s going, she doesn’t let anything stop her. I’m often inspired by her on my daily commute. I sit there in my car with my heat on when it’s cold, my air conditioning on when it’s hot, my coffee to get me going and my music to pump me up. I don’t have to embrace the elements or withstand the weather. Seeing her each day makes me realize how important it is to live life without excuses.
Lately I have been struggling with overtraining injuries that have kept me from my usual routine, and I have been so frustrated. It has been going on for months now and I have been unable to run consistently or without pain. I have had to adapt my workouts to deal with the discomfort, and sometimes agony, of my injuries. I have hip, knee, and ankle pain from my training and some days it hurts to walk let alone run. Added to that, I have been working crazy hours and have had little time to focus on my health and fitness. But I cannot and will not allow these to be excuses to lose sight of what’s important, and I’m learning to adapt accordingly. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
I’ve been focusing more on lifting and switching up my cardio. I find that if I do 10 minutes each of exercises like jogging, rowing, biking, or using the stairmaster or elliptical, I can still get in a decent workout without overexerting myself and aggravating my injuries. I mix them in throughout my strength training sets to minimize impact on my joints. It is a huge adjustment from my favorite routine of a 5 mile run 6 days a week, but I’ve learned that my body can’t handle that kind of exertion without injury. I can still do 30-60 minutes of cardio, I just have to break it up throughout my routine or even throughout my busy day. Since it’s something I love to do, I am not willing to let any excuse get in my way. And I can focus more on lifting, which has been so transformative for me. It’s actually even been fun to problem-solve and create new and different routines. Now I look at it as a challenge, not as a burden. And I’m up for it, because I’ve learned I’m capable of anything I put my mind to.
As much as I want to (and sometimes do) complain and cry over the frustration, I don’t let anything become an excuse anymore to keep me from working out. I am (mostly) healthy and active and have nothing to keep me from going, so I go. I may not be able to do 1000+ calorie-burning workouts as much or spend 3 hours a day in the gym like I used to, but I’m getting it done in a sustainable way. Slow and steady wins the race. Excuses only hold you back.
There will always be challenges along the way in pursuit of your goals. Long hours, family commitments, illness, financial struggles…life will throw you curveballs. Face any roadblocks head-on and tackle them one by one, and you’re sure to not only succeed but to find inner strength from your ability to adapt and thrive. Let go of your limitations and work with what you’ve got. Odds are you’ll surprise yourself!
How do you fight your excuses? What struggles do you face when life throws you a roadblock?