One Month Challenge: Fun with Fitness?

Everyone’s got a vice, a bad habit, something they know they need to change. Unfortunately, everyone also has a million excuses why they just can’t do it. Not anymore. Every month we will be following a different CollegeCandy writer as she takes on a personal challenge. Last month we followed Lauren from University of Michigan as she successfully went 100% sober. This month we’re following Norah on her quest to bring exercise into her life.

I am quite possibly the least athletic person you will ever meet.

When I was 12, my mother asked me not to run in public. “It’s embarrassing,” she said. “There’s something about the way you run that’s just…weird.”

Once I started college, my friends quickly diagnosed my problem: I run like a dinosaur.

Here’s why: When I was 4, I started taking Irish dancing lessons. Yes, like Riverdance. And in Irish dancing, you’re not allowed to move your arms—they have to stay straight at your sides. So when it came time to run, I didn’t know what to do with my arms. With no better ideas, I just pulled them up by my armpits and “took flight.”

Add in some exercise-induced asthma and a fear of flying sports equipment and it’s clear that I was never meant to be an athlete.

I’ve been accused of being lazy, of not really trying, of not being committed enough to get in shape. But I know that’s not it. In elementary school, when the rest of the class couldn’t play on the playground until the last person was done running the mile, I remember trying so hard to finish so my classmates wouldn’t hate me (fourth graders are fickle, fickle creatures). If the anger of my peers wasn’t enough to push me to physical fitness, I don’t know what is.

A few months ago, I made a promise to myself to change all this. But just like every time before, it didn’t last. I went to one Pilates class on campus and worked out with the ROTC guys one morning, but nothing stuck. So, as a challenge to myself, I’m going to use the next four weeks to show you (and myself) that I CAN do this—that I CAN find a fitness plan that works for me, that I enjoy, and that I can stick to in the future. I know I’m not going to become a fitness guru or a triathlete overnight, and I accept that for most of the month, this is really going to suck. I’m going to be sore and crabby and exhausted and too busy to fit a workout into my schedule (and you’re going to hear all about it).

But along the way, I’ll be looking for fun ways to get fit for those of us who aren’t so athletically inclined. I’m sick of videos like this that were clearly not created with people like me in mind. And while I’m sure I’ll find plenty of awkward, clumsy moments along the way (and share them with you, of course), I’ll keep trying new things until I find something that might help us all.

(If that’s not enough motivation, check out this video. Then imagine a person running like that. Yes, I really do need help.)

John Paul Gaultier For Target. Meh.
John Paul Gaultier For Target. Meh.
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