4 months ago if you told me I would be into cardiovascular fitness, I would have got you to sit down and have a word with yourself and check you were OK. Basically, I wouldn’t have believed you!
Going to the gym has been one of, if not the best, activity I have ever decided to do. It has been a consistent non-negotiable for the past 6 years. It brings about its very own journey, one of challenges, persistence and progress. Each time I would see changes, from the person who first walked through the door to the current day. That person 6 years ago I wouldn’t recognise today.
One thing that has not been consistent, however, is cardiovascular exercise. I would get cold sweats just going near the treadmills…
Brutal Honesty With Oneself
I have always been into sport, playing sport since as long as I could remember. The majority of them being team sports but I would always have that base level of fitness, but I would struggle with the cardio side of them.
I would get remarks about being in the gym and only doing weight-based resistance training. I would laugh it off and say I don’t like cardio just doesn’t really interest me.
I would actually believe this. I would never include it into any training program and would continue in the weights area shifting between high and low reps.
It wasn’t until earlier this year and I sat down with my ego and I knew the true reason I didn’t like or do cardio. Well simply put I was rubbish at it. No prizes for guessing why…
So putting ego aside, the time had come to start including some cardio
Know Your Purpose
Cardio wasn’t much of a priority for me. Yes, I knew it would work wonders for my overall health and wellbeing, however, the gym was providing me with benefits. It just wasn’t a powerful enough reason to get started and knowing the journey ahead.
Two things have really allowed me to connect with it
Firstly, I am a father of a two-year-old son, with a little daughter on the way soon. I have always wanted to be an active father not one to just watch his children but to join in. The way I was going I would have been able to run for five minutes before requiring a break. This wasn’t where I wanted to be. I don’t want to have to hit that stage before doing something about it. Be proactive!
The second, I don’t want to have any regrets in life. But, there was one which I knew would come and bite me later in life. Despite doing many sports, I never did the one I loved. Boxing… Now boxing ensures you are fitter than any sport I have ever done before. The consequence of being punched in the face repeatedly is quite the motivation to get my ass running and fitter.
Each Step Is Growth
Back to my poor cardiovascular fitness. I have attempted it in the past but I was inconsistent and would struggle to complete 3km. I would struggle, be a novice, tell myself all the excuses possible and the result? I wouldn’t do it again for a period of time, so the results were inconsistent.
I knew I wasn’t going to be running marathons any time soon. However, that wasn’t the goal nor the outcome I was working for. I wanted to be able to exercise for periods of times, keep working at a high intensity and have even more energy for when I was with my children.
I started with 3km runs. Yes, this wasn’t where I wanted to be, but it was where I was. I would ensure I would run at least 3km twice per week and look to beat the time each run. My focus first was to work at a high heart rate percentage, keeping the effort levels as high as possible.
I kept progressing, adding more distance over time. It wasn’t where I was or where I was starting that mattered. It was where I wanted to be.
On Sunday, I completed my third 10km Sunday morning run. Sundays have now become a routine, the kit is laid out the night before, and as soon as I wake I am out the door. The minimum is an 8km run but the heart rate must be kept high.
It has been a real learning point for me in the past 4 months. During this time I have also started boxing which I am a complete novice at. Each time I have to talk with my ego for it because I know I am starting at the bottom, but it is about pushing myself and going through growth. Growth is tough and can be very messy but it is progress!
Every expert was once a novice. The only thing that really stops you from starting is yourself, it is your ego. Have a quiet work and find a way to start. You can go as slow or as fast as you like.
It doesn’t matter where you are today, the fact is you are here. The real difference is what you will do about it. Continue doing what you’ve always done, therefore continue having the same results. Or, make a change!
Not sure how?