Every six months for the past several years, one of my former teammates and longtime friend from the U.S. national rugby team, Pam Kosanke, asks me to enter some sort of endurance event with her.
Among her requests have been an urban adventure race, a Tough Mudder and a half-marathon, to name a few. Last night, she added to the list with her invite to do a triathlon.
My answer is always the same: No way, José.
I posted the image above on social media with the caption, “My friend Pam is not getting the hint that I’m not so into endurance training, personally.”
Let me be clear: This is no knock on endurance training. It’s just that I don’t enjoy swimming, biking or distance running, so these events don’t hold any appeal for me.
Shortly after I posted it, a Twitter friend said that she didn’t think I was the type to back away from a challenge.
This sort of “tough it out” thinking is pervasive in the health and fitness culture, and I suspect it’s no coincidence that flaming out spectacularly is, too.
No adult version of a double dog dare will convince me to pursue a goal I’m not fundamentally interested in — therein lies the path to failure and burnout. As my friend Jill Coleman says, “Stop doing shit you hate.”
Notice I didn’t say that the pursuit of a goal cannot and will not be difficult or challenging — there will absolutely be trials during any worthy endeavor — but to pursue something you loathe is, in my opinion, futile and unnecessary.
What are your strengths? Can you think of any reason to choose a goal that doesn’t more fully develop that skill set, rather than approaching fitness goals like a bitter medicine you have to force yourself to take?
If you love to lift, consider entering a powerlifting meet, an Olympic lifting meet, a kettlebell sport meet, a strongman competition or a cross-training competition. Join a softball team, a badminton club or a basketball league. Do something you are fundamentally interested in, because contrary to popular opinion, there are no rules against enjoying your training.
On that note, I’m off to the bouncy park, and then I’m going to heft some iron. (Maybe my next fitness goal will be to compete in trampolining.)
What fitness goals have you set for yourself, and are you fundamentally interested in meeting them?