When I was in early high school I rode my bike 10-20 miles every day during summer break. No goals, no objectives, no groups, just riding because it was fun and the sun was out. It was a really wonderful time.
Life moved on and I completely forgot about that experience. While I was in Juneau, I purchased a bike and immediately made my riding purposeful. I was riding to work to save gas, or preparing for a triathlon or working on my endurance. All noble purposes, but it was always a struggle to get on the bike because the fun was taken out of it.
I let myself get too wrapped up in cadence, pace and all the other things we worry about as soon as we “ride for a purpose.” It made riding a chore instead of a fun activity.
This will probably come as a shock, but this post is about removing goals from exercise.
I recently just bought a bike again. This time, I had no purpose for it when I got it except to ride it. On my first ride, I found a nice trail near my home that reminded me a lot of the Campbell Creek Trail I used to ride in high school every day. After a couple miles, I noticed myself grinning from ear to ear. Riding was fun; just like it was when I was riding in high school.
I realized that I attached so much to my exercise that it wasn’t fun and if I had removed those goals, I probably would have ridden a lot more.
Exercising for goals is a wonderful thing and something I still recommend. But sometimes-and more often than most of us admit-exercise should be about having fun! When you are having fun exercising is easy. Hours will go by and you won’t even notice. You’ll come home exhausted and wonder why because you werejust out playing. Not working out.
Going on a pointless bike ride reminded me that I really actually enjoy riding my bike. And that makes me ride more, which is good.
What activities did you used to love as a kid? Could you find a way to have fun doing them now? Spend some time this week thinking of things you could do that are active and fun. Forget the health benefits. They’ll show up anyway. Just go have fun!