On Sunday, I made my first entry in my fitness journal and I was surprised to find myself enjoying the process of reflection.
Back in January, I was musing about what I wanted to include in my fitness journal but given the chaos of last month, I never did come to any conclusions.
But, seeing as I have decided that February is self-contained (and is the only real month at the moment), I felt free to just write whatever the hell came to mind (a.k.a. freewriting!) and to not worry about whether I was gathering useful information for my future self.
I just set a timer (to free my ADHD brain from the worry that I would end up writing forever) and got started.
I wrote about how I was surprised that my evening hip exercises have revealed that my left hip is tighter than my right one, even though my right hip is the one that I have to be careful with.
And I wrote about how I accidentally left my watch timer going on Friday so it seemed like I had done more yoga than I had, which was annoying but which prompted me to take off my watch and do several shorter sessions of yoga and stretching on Saturday so the exercise tracked would match the exercise I had actually done.
That, in turn, prompted me to write about which of those sessions I had found most useful and which ones I would do again.
That made me wonder about the yoga sessions in Apple Fitness + and whether I wanted to try those which reminded me that I chose a longer rowing session in the program the other day. That session was great but I did have to pause a few times – that felt like an important note for my future self.
Writing everything down helped me to feel that all of my efforts were, indeed, part of the biggest picture – my own well-being – even if they weren’t all stepping stones towards a specific outcome.
And, intriguingly, I had no self-judgment crop up at all in the process – it just felt like a celebration of what I had done rather than a measurement of what I did against what I had planned.
Note: I am always aiming for that celebration feeling but the questions of ‘Was that enough? Why didn’t I do more? Why can’t I stick to a plan?’ still crop up for me sometimes even though I have lots of practice in self-kindness.
Even though I didn’t have any specific questions in mind when I started, my first foray into reflective fitness journaling worked out marvellously.
I have everything I need for future reference – a few notes about what I did last week and how I felt about it – and – bonus!- I feel gently inspired for the week ahead.
Realistically, I only plan to write in my journal once a week, while continuing to give myself the freedom to follow my train of thought wherever it leads.
However, now that I have established a ‘container’ for that kind of thinking, I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up putting a few thoughts into it more often.