fitness · motivation

First draft fitness, thanks Alex

Perfectionism is the thief of joy. At one level, we all know this. And yet, when it comes to fitness, we have a hard time not going back to that grade 6 gym class where we first learned that sport is about winning, and that athletic participation is for those who are good enough.

Sports is the home of the give-it-your-all slogans, like GO BIG OR STAY HOME or BRING YOUR A GAME. But sometimes it’s not like that. Sometimes it’s your C-game, you’re just showing up and doing your thing.

I often draw parallels between writing and fitness as practices, and I know others on the blog do the same. Hey, Christine! And when it comes to writing I am the Queen of the Scruffy First Draft. I am good, in group projects, of producing the thing that others rewrite. Finishing things, on my own, is another matter and we won’t talk about that here.

So when I came across this on the instagram account of Empathetic Fitness, home of Alex, profiled here by Cate, I smiled.

Go read the whole thing and come back. It’s great.

In my toolbox of joyful movement I have Muppet Fitness, that’s when you are an enthusiastic amateur cheerfully doing a thing and not caring about whether you’re any good at it.

But somedays, forget caring about talent and achievement, some days I don’t have joy either. It’s not joyful movement. It’s just movement. And that’s okay too.

We can reject athletic achievement as a sole focus of fitness and swap it for joyful movement, but we shouldn’t make joy normative either. I used to say, about exercise, “if you don’t love it, don’t do it” but that’s a thing I’ve since stopped saying. It’s okay just to do it and not love it.

Thanks to Alex I’m adding First Draft Fitness to my toolbox. Some days it’s okay just to go through the motions and do the thing because it’s the thing that you do.

Person writing on white paper. Photo by  Andrew Loh  on  Scopio.

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