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Don’t sweat it, do it

7 July 2014

It’s the same every year isn’t it?  As the covers come off at Wimbledon, many of us think about getting back on the court.  But thinking about it is as far as we often get.  This summer, with one of the most exciting World Cups we’ve enjoyed for years on TV, maybe you’d think the number of people kicking a ball around the garden, street or park will have picked up too – but the streets remain empty.

So what stops the average person from turning intention into action? For many it is quite simple – fear.

For some, it provokes sick to the stomach anxiety just to think about putting on a pair or trainers or getting on a bike.  For others, it’s that niggling feeling that you just won’t be good enough, for many more it is the shame we heap upon ourselves about our bodies.

The trepidation is understandable, but it means we’re all losing out on getting fit, enjoying ourselves and having a good time outdoors doing things we’re all capable of doing at some level. It is a classic vicious circle.

Luckily, there are people, events and technology out there that can help us give it a go.  At Forster, we’ve always believed in helping people get over their barriers to doing things by acknowledging and accepting the fears and concerns, then creating simple messages and actions that help people face them and take that first step. That’s the hardest part, and it turns out most people get past it pretty easily and it’s a smoother path from there.

Want to get fit but feel intimidated by the idea of sport or using equipment?  Feet are the most flexible transport available – all terrain, safe in the wet, sound brakes…so why not try walking with a group like the Ramblers? With walks across the country – town and city – over distances and at time that can suit almost any fitness level and lifestyle, it’s worth giving a go. Same goes for cycling. CTC  is a cycling club for all cyclists, from beginner to full on tourer, so why not try just one ride out with a local group and see what you think? As for sports, if you want to try something new or re-discover something you used to love, you could do worse that to visit, where there are things to try to every age and ability.

Finally, a bit of inspiration. I heard a story recently about a woman in her forties who had never run or jogged, but wanted to try and get fit. With little faith in her abilities, she plucked up the courage to have a go anyway, spurred on by a phone app that helped her build from zero to 5k. She doesn’t want to train for a half marathon or join a running club.  She just wants to be able to run 5k because that will help her achieve a basic level of fitness that will improve her life in general.  And she’s done it.  She can run 5k now.  It took a few weeks, and that’s fine, it’s to be expected. But she tried it and found her body capable. Which made her proud and happy.  Which after all, is what really matters.

The key is small steps, little nudges, achievable goals and going at your own pace. So give it go, prove to yourself that you can, and you’re away.