Over the past couple of weeks the sun has been shining, sunscreen has snuck into my morning routine and the ice cream truck jingle can be heard from afar. SUMMER IS HERE!
Not to jinx it, but all the vitamin D I have absorbed recently has put me into a very optimistic headspace.
Usually at this time of year, my friends and I are deciding which summer sports leagues to sign up for. Beach volleyball, ultimate frisbee, basketball, soccer - you name it. As a retired university athlete this has made my transition from competitive team sport to playing sport for life, while balancing work and everything else your 20s brings, a little bit easier.
Unfortunately, last summer and most likely this one, will not include any of these activities. Although we are making positive strides and getting more individuals vaccinated every day, the pandemic has prevented a lot of us from doing the things we most enjoy. Sports included.
I personally miss the social aspect, the competitive environment, learning new skills and most importantly being active!
According to Statistics Canada “exercise, particularly outdoors, is associated with improvements in mood as well as reduced symptoms of anxiety, anger and depression”
So, we should get outside, preferably alone ... an avid walker, runner or cyclist’s dream!
But what about the rest of us? Those of us who find walking boring, have struggled to find the joy in running and don’t own a bike. If you at all relate to this, we have something in common.
Or, we did.
Last week, for the first time ever, I ran 12 km. TWELVE (proceeds to jump around happily).
For some of you, this may not seem like a large feat, but considering six months ago I despised running, to me it is celebratory. So what changed?
As someone who has always identified with being an athlete, I have approached most opportunities in my life as ones for self improvement. My mindset focused on how much can I learn, what new skills can I acquire and what old ones can I nurture.
I approached running with the same mindset. As with any new skill I gave myself time and patience, set realistic goals and made adjustments as the kilometers built up. But most importantly, I did not do this alone.
Yes the new Asics I bought supported each step and stride, but I am not referring to my equipment, rather the people around me. I have surrounded myself with like minded individuals who love to get outside & get moving. My roommate and sister both love to run, my mom walks at least 10,000 steps everyday and my partner is training for an ironman.
As Canadian Women & Sport encourage in this resource on staying active for life
“Invite a friend to try something new, or create a buddy-system to increase accountability and commitment to a program.”
Not only is this a wonderful way to help each other stay active, achieve social belonging and better our health and well being, but it is also a way to get competitive! Challenge each other to a step competition or see who can rack up the most KMs in a month!
Whether you are walking, running, biking or participating in any other activity in the beautiful outdoors let’s remember to Build Her Up. Build up your moms, sisters, girlfriends, teammates and co-workers. And who knows, maybe in the process you will find a new hobby that you love, and with it a new way to stay involved in sport for life.
P.S. This coming week is bike week! So to all you cyclists or first time bikers, grab your helmet and enjoy the ride :)
Written By: Sarah Saftich
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