Life after college was a bit of an adjustment. Since the age of 5 when I first started playing soccer, I have always been very active. Between soccer games, neighborhood capture the flag, running college track, and everything in between, there is nothing I love more than physical activities. When I first started working in the real world after college, I had this unrealistic expectation that my lifestyle would be exactly the same. I had become so accustomed to having a 3-4 hour time slot in my day specifically designed for physical activity. Practices and games or meets were so second nature to me that I hadn’t even thought about my life after organized sports.
The first few months into the real world I finally realized why people often say how hard it is to find time to work out. My entire life I never understood this saying and constantly thought it was merely an excuse for people to justify a lazier lifestyle. This period of time, I can honestly say, was the laziest I think I have ever been in my entire life. There were a few weeks where I didn’t run at all, simply because I no longer had to. However, my brief hiatus came to an end when I came to the realization that even though I was no longer required to run by a coach or a team depending on me, I not only missed, but craved physical activity. Although working out became more difficult to fit into my day, it has become something that I now do for myself and not because I have to.
I think this is a really important epiphany for everyone, especially prior athletes, to experience. I know running isn’t for everyone, but there are so many other types of activities out there that are all part of a fit lifestyle, it’s just about finding what you enjoy doing. Now, instead of having a set ‘practice’ time every day, I have a much more spontaneous work out schedule, depending on when I wake up that morning, get out of work that night, or where I might be spending my weekend. I think it’s 100% okay to not have a predetermined workout schedule every week. There’s no need to set yourself up for dreading a run. Lately, my most enjoyable runs have been the ones that I go on right after finishing something else and realizing that I have time to squeeze one in. I know this active spontaneity might not work for all personalities and lifestyles, but as long as you have a process that allows you to enjoy your choice of exercise and feel like you are benefiting from it, then I think you’re doing it right!