Column: Starting Over, Over, Over Again

By Hope Langevin, Certified Personal Trainer from Move Your Mountain Fitness, Special for the Pasadena Independent

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” Winston Churchill

The saying above is one that I live by, in fact, it appears underneath my photo at the training studio where I work. Anyone who knows me, knows that I’ve had a history of some very successful racing events and history of being physically fit. Afterall, it’s my job as a trainer to set an example. That said, I’ve had my share of slumps, injury, life changes, etc. that have set me back and caused me to have many “start overs”, and you know what, I’m okay with that, and I want you to be too.

It’s happened to pretty much everyone; there comes a time when life changes things up, most of the time without our permission. Suddenly, our nice little routine that includes our workout time has gone Topsy-turvy – all upside-down! First days go by, then weeks, months and sometimes even years before we reinstate (or start) working on our physical fitness again.

All sorts of things in life can interfere and take us off of our fitness journey; maybe one or more of them has happened to you: For example: physiological changes like pregnancy, the change of life, aging, illness, or injury. Time crunch: scheduling changes caused by workloads, special assignments, and family obligations. Sometimes it’s a serious emotional change: relational breakups, clinical disorders like anxiety and depression.

And let’s face it, sometimes we get lazy! Yet even being lazy, often has reasons. For example, extended periods of emotional stress triggers hormones that make it difficult to want to move. Our bodies want to conserve energy – i.e. the vicious cycle of non-movement makes it even more difficult to get out and move. Then we miss out on the endorphins and mental lift we need to help overcome these issues.

So what’s to be done? How do you get on track again after a long or short setback? Here are a few suggestions for you:

  1. Give yourself permission to “start over”: Do this as many times as needed until something sticks. That’s right, over and over, until you find that class, coach, mentor, activity, whatever it takes to bring you to a place of adherence.
  2. Find a goal you connect with: Some folks need big goals, but a whole lot of us find smaller goals more achievable and motivating. Are you a small change or big change person? You decide- test it and see what works. Don’t be discouraged if your first plan fails; that’s why experimentation is important. to see what works for you!
  3. Take the pressure off. No guilt if you need to restart every week, or every day. If you fail, get up, start again, and keep moving.
  4. Keep it simple. Make sure that whatever activity you choose is easy for you to prepare for and is geographically desirable, so that it fits easily into your schedule.
  5. Make it fun. Maybe you just need to feel good right now, so choose something that you want to do, such as: dance class, yoga, stretching class, pilates, spin, a simple weekly walk, or a swim. Do whatever entices you to be active.
  6. No need to go it alone: grab your neighbor, your best friend, or find a community that supports your interests.

Your take away is to get started. What does that mean for you? Do you need to web search your local gym, do you have a friend who you know works out; perhaps you want to join them? Do you have a league or team you want to join? Do you have a class you want to try? What one thing can you do today to get started?

I’ll leave you with more words of wisdom from Mr. Churchill: “Never, never, never give up”!

Featured image from

Source Beacon Media News