Forget the fitness apps, charts, wearables... just get out and have fun

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My first instinct is to overanalyze whenever possible. I'm pretty sure.. I mean... maybe I should think about that more.

If I can't plan something out beforehand, track it during, imagine the final result, I have trouble even getting started. And that's poured into lots of areas of my life, including staying fit over the years.

  • When I started working out in my twenties at college, I carried a notebook with me.
  • When I got some of my own workout equipment, I taped a spreadsheet to the wall.
  • When I went to the onsite gym at Progressive, I had my rep sheet in the file drawer they provided everyone.
  • When I took up running I tracked everything in MapMyRun and got a Nike chip that tracked distance and sync'd with my iPod.

Everything I did had to be tracked. If I wasn't tracking it, it didn't count. If I couldn't point to the exact reps I was doing, how could I get credit for them? If a runner runs in the woods and no one sees them, did they really run at all?! After all, staying fit isn't supposed to be fun - it's work!

Then I had kids and saw first-hand how they learn. They don't bother measuring, list-taking, task-checking. They just run for the sake of running, try something new for the sake of trying something new, learn because they're curious. They do it because it's what they do.

I've personally lost interest with tracking in any form. The worst part of most jobs is the paperwork, yet we'll willingly inflict it on ourselves outside of work too. Sometimes there are vital medical reasons - cholesterol, heart-rate, insulin, etc - but what about every rep pressed, every push-up and sit-up? I never lost interest in staying fit itself, but what I really enjoy is a good hike down a path I've never been on, a climb up a hill for the view, or a 20-mile bike ride just because. I don't want to track it 10 different ways after the fact.

If someone asked me how to stay active, especially in I.T. where we're pretty sedentary all day, I'd tell them (in my entirely unprofessional opinion, but based on nearly 20 years of always staying fit in one way or another) to just get up and move. Do something... anything.

  • In college, I took advantage of the onsite track and gym, and signed up for a couple aikido classes.
  • At Progressive, I spent my lunch at the gym for 3 years, and took cardio classes twice a week.
  • My next job didn't have a gym but they did eventually get an old bathroom with a shower in working order, so I ran at the park nearby during lunch or packed the bike.
  • My current employer provides some level of gym reimbursement (man do I miss that onsite gym!) which I used for awhile.
  • Then my kids started taekwondo at a place that offered adult classes, so now I take TRX and kickboxing back-to-back twice a week. And it's enough for me right now.

The point is, I've always done something, and that's all I'd encourage others to do too. Forget the constant tracking. Forget counting every mile.

Just find a path that looks interesting and run with it!

This is post #4 in my personal challenge to do #30DaysOfBlogging. It's somewhat ironic to admit I'm tracking my progress in a post about not tracking progress. I'm hoping this short-term challenge will help me become more comfortable with blogging in general. I expect some hits and misses; hopefully something here inspires you.


Grant Winney

I write when I've got something to share - a personal project, a solution to a difficult problem, or just an idea. We learn by doing and sharing. We've all got something to contribute.

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