The Lie I Once Believed About Exercise

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I grew up in an active household where my parents took us camping every summer and we hiked, biked, and swam. During the school year, I would walk more than a kilometre to school in the morning, back and forth for lunch, and then home again at the end of the day.

Walking seemed very natural and a normal activity to me. But what I didn’t enjoy was organized sports. I stressed over being picked (usually last) for a baseball team or volleyball game. I took little pleasure in high school gym class and counted myself one of the unathletic girls.

Since team sports like soccer, hockey and basketball caused me anxiety I believed that I was an anti-athlete and deemed all exercise to be activity I hated. Herein lies the lie.

Exercise is not just participating in team sports. Exercise is any activity that requires physical movement. Snowshoeing is exercise. Dancing is exercise. Mowing the lawn is exercise.

I do not need to sign up to a gym to get exercise. Tying the laces on my shoes and walking out into my neighbourhood is exercise. No treadmill necessary. Taking my grandbaby for a ride on my bicycle carrier is exercise. No upright stationary bike necessary.

Although I don’t consider myself an athlete, I don’t believe myself to be an anti-athlete anymore either.