It has been my unfortunate experience to know a lot of judgmental fitness buffs. You get excited because you think you are making a connection with someone over a common interest, but then you are sorely disappointed that you ever brought it up. You know the types; I don’t have to tell you what they are like. Whatever you are doing, it is wrong unless it’s what they are doing. I call them fitness snobs.
I would consider myself a fitness novice in most ways. Despite my commitment to Fitbit, my completed half marathons, and the fact that I can squat with over 160lbs on a bar in repetition, I am still learning. To this day, I still have never run a full mile without stopping. I struggle through classes like spin and step because of the strain they put on my knees. I would be a fraud if I represented myself as a fitness expert. I’m more of an enthusiast. Fitness has become a part of my lifestyle – a necessity for me due to family history and my natural propensity to gain weight – it is something I do every day, like eating and sleeping.
That is why it is such a shame that people put others off with their abrasive and critical attitude to how other people do things. Anyone who truly loves fitness should be pleased to see others trying, regardless of their level or their area of interest. It benefits us as a society when people are striving to be active and healthy, as it keeps healthcare costs down.
One of my favorite things about the running communities that I have been a part of since I started getting involved is the general feeling of acceptance. I have hauled myself across the finish line of a race in nearly last place and had medal-winners there cheering for me! What a feeling, to push myself past my own limitations, regardless of how poorly it compares to someone else, and to be cheered for achieving my goal! What encouragement it is to do it again, and to do it better! They are just happy we are out there. I have heard winners say, “six miles is just as far for you as it was for me!” That is what keeps me coming back.
I am committed to encouraging others to make fitness a part of their lives, regardless of their level of ability. The dog walkers at the park are doing more than the people who never do anything. 30 minutes is 2% of your day, and worthy of a commitment to improving your wellbeing. It is not just physical, either. Our mental and emotional wellbeing is improved by physical activity as well. More importantly, I am committed to being there to cheer for someone else, to offer that encouragement, to help someone else achieve a goal or milestone in the way that others have helped me. Finally, to never look at someone and say, “You’re wasting your time if you don’t do what I’m doing.”
And I am committed to running that full mile someday!