It is time.....
Motivation is not something that I ever found hard to come by; I was always motivated to have fun. The same as any other child as they were growing up, but growing up in the 90's in Zimbabwe had such a different feel to how I see kids 'growing up' these days. Invariably all kids want to have fun but I think today's fun is more virtual than reality, I have seen children discouraged from running outside and playing in the great outdoors, seeing them encouraged to sit still inside and be 'entertained' by a TV or computer game. The outdoors was the part of my childhood that I will fondly remember, playing outside riding a bike and getting hurt, dirty, stung by bees and climbing trees and laughing. Today it seems like we are heading to a place where trees with have a health and safety warning on them. We are all guilty of subscribing to a life with less motion in it, as I write this I am sat in a dark room looking at a screen, the message has to get out there into cyberspace someway somehow... The point I am trying to make put simply is this, if you encourage a distraction from movement eventually the distraction takes hold. Movement is the key to health of body and mind and without it we would not have evolved into the beings we are today. Our body is a machine, designed for one specific goal... Survival. Now flashback a few thousand years and boom! We had to move to keep alive, see a lion, run. See food, run and get it! Simple.
Despite me saying that I was an active child and that kids today aren't I still had my fair share of low points when it came to movement. I enjoyed playing sport and I enjoyed being active, but I also enjoyed the bad foods and that is what led to my dietary issues. I started out loving cricket and ended with a love for golf, but a long the way, as with many private schools in Zimbabwe, I was given all the sport in the world to play. A typical school day for me in primary school started early with lessons from 8am, school finishing at about 1pm, then sport all the afternoons of the week apart from Friday. Then often on the weekend it would be more sport or golf with my dad, so I was moving a lot however as I reached about 11 years old the weight had started to pile on. You see we had a tuck shop at school, and I began to receive pocket money..... Need I say more... In the last year of my primary school I was infatuated with having a pair of Oakley sunglasses, I wanted the pair that I had seen all the professional cricketers wear. I kept badgering my dad to get them, but he said that if I wanted them I would need to lose weight. He said he would buy them ahead of the time and let me wear them every time I reached a goal weight. It was a fantastic idea! What better way to get me to do something, despite the plan working, it failed to teach me the lesson I needed the most. How to eat a balanced diet and stay way from eating too many sweets!
If I think back to that time there are a few things that ring true and possibly the most important part of this post. I was the fat kid in my class for a long time, I was the fat kid that was hitting that time in his life when girls were becoming 'girlfriends' when maturity was starting to take hold and... Where fat kids didn't really have the advantage. When I lost weight and got down to my goal a few things started to happen. So how did I achieve the results and get from the fat kid to a healthier, fitter version of myself?
I moved harder, I pushed myself when playing the sports that I was doing. I ate a more balanced diet and left out the sweets. The main change was moving and less bread! It was my final year at primary school and the future was looking bright, I was heading off to a new high school, sadly not with all of my friends, but instead in pursuit of a cricketing career with one of the best schools for cricket in the country of Zimbabwe.
I reached high school and change just happened, I was thrown from a Co-ed situation into an all boys school that didn't have the same feel to it. I had suddenly become a very small fish in a tiny pond and I didn't react well to the change. I found myself eating more again and becoming the fat kid again, but this time I was a fat kid in a highly competitive school. It meant that I moved less, ate more and because of my weight attracted a very negative reputation amongst my peers. This in turn led me to be more unhappy and so the hole began to deepen. So what could I do, well at that stage I hadn't worked out all the finer points of why I was unpopular, it is easy to reflect now and think of all the 'what if's' but then I wouldn't be here today typing this for you. So I have had some ups and downs and I'll leave the story there for now. You'll have to follow for the next post to find out how I overcame the hurdles I put in my own way.
If there is one thing you can take from this today is just move, get up where ever you are and do some push ups, do some jumping jacks in your kitchen whilst waiting for dinner to cook. Use any excuse you can to move and do some stretches, the more you move when you have a few free moments then the more it will become second nature. Soon you'll be able to walk up the stairs and not be out of breath. Spend some time burning off energy and your stress levels will drop, you'll sleep better and feel accomplished and relaxed. You'll then wake up every morning feeling just that little bit better to take on the day in the most positive way you can imagine. Before you know it you'll be running up those stairs, but it all starts with a trigger, a shot that shoots up your spine and says, 'hey you have a few minutes here, why not jump around and move!' The body is the best piece of gym equipment that you could ever wish to have, it's a shame not to use it.
Have a great day where ever you are reading this and remember to move! :-) Peace