Moving from the Sidelines to the Field

by Jessi Langsen | September 12, 2011 at 2:51 pm | comments

I will start this by telling you something as candidly as I know how – I am the human equivalent of a housecat. I am perfectly content to lie in the sun and be fed roast chicken from the table with a nice stretch thrown in every few hours for good measure. I love fresh air but I am not a natural athlete nor do I have the grace and coordination of a dancer.

Something I am particularly good at is encouragement. I kept score for baseball and softball teams in high school, I went to games with my pony tail high and paint on my face. I am a really good supporter of friends who just happened to be a little more gifted in the activity department. What’s been interesting as I’ve gotten older is that I’m suddenly more interested in trying.

I’m going to give credit for that shift to surrounding myself with friends who truly love to sweat. Sports aren’t an obligation in the way they might have been in high school, these men and women who get up before the sun or carve time out of their work days to ensure they have time to work out. My friend Gina is perhaps the best measure of this – the photo to the left is her running the Boston Marathon in April. And that would be me with the flip cam and then glittery sign running beside her for a solid stretch. She loves to run for the meditation, the friendships and the sheer exhaustion that then allows her a great night’s sleep. In short, Gina feels good and, as it goes with curiosity and cats, I’ve been wanting to know if there isn’t something to be said for it.

It’s been nine months and I don’t love running yet. But I do love the slow, smooth burn of yoga. And I love taking in a cool breeze before the sun is fully up and my day belongs to more than just me. I love the soreness that makes me more aware of my posture and the fact that I can revert to my cat-like state in the evenings without guilt.

For me the trick has been to surround myself with people who love something that I want to love. Gina has turned out to be a tremendous source of encouragement and a constant reminder that her thing doesn’t need to be my thing for it to work.

What tips and tricks do you use to turn up the volume on your activity level and love it?

Jessi Langsen wrote this post for Together Counts on behalf of Edelman Digital and is still trying to love running.