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The Fitness Journey: No More Excuses

By Ryan Purdy, Regional General Manager, YMCA Health, Fitness & Aquatics

Ryan Purdy is a reluctant exerciser facing down middle age and is the dad of two active kids. He has been working at the YMCA for over 17 years.

For a guy who works in YMCA Health, Fitness and Aquatics centres, you’d think the moment I decided it was time to take my health more seriously, all I had to do was step up to the starting line. But no.

As a father of two busy, active children, I’d come to a place where I knew I didn’t want, as the years pass, to have to say to my kids, “No, I’m tired. Maybe later.” I want the energy to keep up with them (okay, within reason). I want to maintain, even optimize, my health.

Despite my job, I’m no more naturally inclined to prioritize a weekly exercise routine, go for a hike, or evening walk. Throughout my adult life, I’ve jumped in and out of exercise in fits and starts that never turned into an exercise habit.

But this time, it’s going to be different because my motivation is different, and my approach is different.

Like many of us, my biggest challenge has been to get going. To not let myself make excuses.

This time, there are no fitness goals out of the gate. I’m not gunning to lose weight or inches. I’m not hoping to bench press 200 pounds next month. In my experience, lofty goals set too early in the program lead to discouragement at the first stumbling block.

This time, I want to set the foundation for long-term progress and lifetime health. My goal is to find exercises and routines that work for me. Find what I enjoy. I’m trying different movements and routines, checking out the variety of exercises with every piece of equipment.  I’m learning what works for me, what I enjoy at this stage.

I’m one month into it now and have established a few practices to help me avoid the excuses. I’m learning. Forgetting I intended to do a workout today doesn’t happen. I book three, and only three, workout times in my calendar every week. Three evenings a week, I purposefully put my gym stuff out so I’m all set to go in the morning. No excuses, and not an overwhelming schedule. So far, so good.

Full disclosure. I also try to be somewhat mindful of what I eat. I’m eating somewhat less junk than I did before, but it’s not a diet. It’s one small step. All in good time.

For now, my focus is exercise and movement that is sustainable. Stay tuned.

If you’re looking to start or restart your fitness journey, like Ryan, the YMCA is here for you. We have plenty of fitness options that will help you every step of the way, from a variety of equipment on our conditioning floors, to personal training and group fitness classes, we’re here to help you meet your goals, no matter how big or small.

For a limited time only, until February 24, 2023, we’re waiving the Join Fee for new members! That’s a savings of $75! Visit our Online Portal to purchase a membership today, or check out your local YMCA Health, Fitness & Aquatics centre in Collingwood, Gravenhurst, Innisfil, Midland, or Wasaga Beach.

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