It may sound simple, but it works. Surround yourself with active people and by hanging out together you will become more active yourself.
Over the summer holidays I’ve been lucky enough to go to Manly, NSW twice with my girlfriend Shania and her family. My favourite part about Manly is that nearly everyone there is active and consequently, happy! On the first morning, I decided to get up early and go for a short run to check out all the beaches. When I was running I saw so many other people running, riding, swimming or skating that I just wanted to keep running so I could see more. The run ended up being 10kms and just under an hour. Every little smile, thumbs up or good morning made me feel so good!
About half way through the run at 7:30am I got to Manly surf beach, where I saw 100s of people swimming and coming out of the water. As it isn’t normal to see that many people doing an ocean swim together, I asked a local what it was all about. I was so amazed when she said that every morning hundreds to thousands of people swim from Manly beach across to Shelly beach and back which is a 1.5km swim (750m each way). There is a 6:30am start group and a 7:00am start group and people can join in whatever they want. I loved it so much that I decided then and there, that the next day I would do half of the swim- 750m from Shelly beach to the Manly beach.
3 months before this in October, I could only swim 50m. Through swimming lessons every Saturday, I had improved my swimming considerably, but the furthest I’d swum was 500m in the pool and now I was going to attempt 750m in the ocean. Every week I would hate waking up on Saturday mornings for swimming lessons, it wasn’t easy for me at all but I’m so glad I stuck with it.
I loved the 750m beach swim so much that I did it nearly every day for the rest of my holiday. On the last day, I decided to try and go both ways (1.5kms) which I’m so happy to say I completed! Most people do it in around 25 minutes and it took me 40 minutes. I have a long way to go, my technique still needs a lot of work but through desire and hard work I will complete an ironman triathlon soon!
If you want to get more active, it starts with you. You must make the first move as no one can get fit for you. If you do really want this but you are lacking motivation, working out with a friend is a great start. Get your fittest friend to work out with you and get them to give you guidance. If you can get a group of active people together then that’s even better. That way you are really setting yourself up to reach your fitness goals. I know from experience that it can be very hard sometimes to be motivated when you don’t have a training partner. That is why with my 60km ultramarathon in May I’m constantly looking for people to run with.
Lastly, if you are really needing inspiration, head to Manly for a holiday, get up at 6:30am and see how amazing it Is for yourself. To top off the 1000 people swimming every morning, I saw a man who was at least 70 years old running 10km up and down the beach in 30-degree heat!
People are incredible. We just need to start believing that we can achieve so much more than we think we are capable of.