Gratitude, Body Positivity, and Exercise

Gratitude, Body Positivity, and Exercise at Elevate Fitness Gym in Syracuse

If you’re reading this post on the Elevate website, there’s a good chance that you’re a fitness person. And if you’re a fitness person, then there’s a really good chance that you have fitness goals. And if you have fitness goals, that likely means that there are changes you’re actively seeking to make to your body right now. 

As active fitness enthusiasts, we often spend so much time working on our goals, and setting our goals, and redefining our goals, that we rarely take the time to sit in a moment and enjoy where we are right now.

As a group fitness instructor, I see this regularly in Spinning classes. An athlete (that’s what I call every participant in my Spinning classes) will come in and kick major butt on the bike for sixty minutes. Then, I’ll approach the athlete after the workout and ask them how they’re feeling. Nine times out of ten, the athlete tells me something that was difficult about the workout, or something about their performance that didn’t align with their expectations or goals.

When I tell you I see this all the time, I’m not exaggerating. People would come in and put 100% effort into an amazing workout and walk away focused on what they perceived to be the shortcomings or their challenges instead of celebrating their accomplishments and their success. As someone whose job is to inspire people to keep working toward their goals, I know that a culture of celebration and gratitude is far more addictive and productive than a culture where we focus on what we don’t love about ourselves.

This led me to an important realization – people who are goal-focused often need to be reminded to take a moment to appreciate the present moment. And then I realized something even more powerful: I ALSO NEED TO BE REMINDED TO BE PRESENT.

It was then that I started incorporating a short, but powerful, moment into the cooldown of each class. A moment, that I believe can benefit all of us, even if we haven’t just finished a Spinning class. I say the following, or some variation thereof, almost every class. And while sometimes the majority of my spinners don’t need to hear it that day, if even one person hears it and takes a moment to reflect and be grateful for their body in its current state in that moment – then it’s worth the effort.

I hope you have goals. Goals are what keep us moving forward and working hard. I think everyone who walks through the doors of the gym should have goals. But that being said, I don’t care what your goals are. I don’t care if you want to be thinner, fitter, faster, thicker, fatter, stronger, leaner, meaner … none of that matters right now. Right now, all that matters is what you’ve just accomplished, and how you feel in this moment. Right now, in this moment you are exactly who and how you’re supposed to be. You’re perfect right now.

Don’t let who you aim to be tomorrow distract you from how amazing you are today. A lifetime spent chasing tomorrows is a lifetime of wasted todays.

Every now and then we all need to be reminded that there are people who would love to be where we are and how we are today. People who would be so proud to be capable of what we’re capable of. So don’t forget to take the time to be grateful. To be present. To be perfectly you.

 

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