Health, Life

The Battle Between Fitness & Wellness

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Apologies, I’ve been a little inactive lately. Firstly, because, well – Christmas. And secondly, because I’ve spent the last two weeks mostly in bed trying to recover from a pesky virus that won’t budge. Don’t ya just love being poorly over the Christmas holidays??? Nattt.

Sitting on my arse for days on end has given me plenty of time to think. I’m mostly frustrated I can’t exercise. And because of all the Christmas food I’m basically turning into a large lump. Festively plump might be an accurate description. But you know what being ill has forced me to do? Rest.

You see, I’ve got a complicated relationship with exercise. I basically see all exercise as more of a sport. A competition. An opportunity to be great at something. My parents made me believe that becoming a champion in sport is the ultimate goal in life.

But as I’ve got older I’ve felt more of a need to be kinder to my body. I know that it would be more beneficial to my physical and mental wellbeing if I went for more long walks in the countryside, did yoga every day and went for the occasional light jog. But the inner warrior princess in me wants to choose a sport and dominate. She wants to become exceptional. What she doesn’t realise is how much better she’d feel if she let go of the need to succeed a little. 

So, round and round I go. Battling between my need for wellness and balance, and the urge to be competitive and keep #winning. I’ve done a fair few sports in my time. Running, swimming, biathle, kickboxing, taekwondo, and most recently – Crossfit.

All very competitive and high-intensity sports. The kind of sports where you really push yourself to your limits. My uber competitive side may like this, but often, doing these things doesn’t work out so well for my mental health. Because I put so much pressure on myself.

I know what I need to do. Cut down on the intense stuff to maybe three times a week. And swap two or three days for something else instead. Activities that will give back to my body instead of take away from it. Walking, yoga, mindfulness, bike rides, gentle swimming and simply exploring the great outdoors.

But, I’m not doing these things yet. It’s a goal of mine for 2019 to try to let go of that need to succeed. I’d really like to just do exercise for enjoyment. Wouldn’t that be lovely? At the moment, I feel like if I stop training five/six times a week I’ll miss out. Hello FOMO. When in reality, doing things like yoga and stretching will probably help me perform better. Come on Kiri, it’s not rocket science!

Anyone else suffer the same battle when it comes to sport and exercise? Do you find you always want to push yourself and get results? Are you hard on yourself? Well then, like me, perhaps it’s time to start making some changes. Let’s treat our bodies with a bit more love. Stop striving to be perfect – it’s exhausting.

Success isn’t always measured by the incredible achievements you rack up. I’d like my ‘success’ in life to be measured in happiness and contentment. If I’m happy and relaxed, then I’ll lead a more fulfilled life. If I’m constantly setting myself unrealistic targets and judging my performance as never good enough, well, I’ll probably end up pretty miserable.