I remember being 8 years old and playing “Tag” late into a warm, summer evening. Barefoot, I padded through the dewy, emerald glades of my neighbor’s lawn, as I prepared to sprint for the designated safe area. My heart pounded to the breathless countdown in my head.
Three. Thud. Two. Thud, thud. One. And…GO!
My limbs roared to life, gathering speed beneath me with every stride. I took off flying around the corner, aware that my brother would be in hot pursuit within seconds. The wind whipped through my hair, and I heard the tell-tale rhythm of my brother’s gait close behind me. I urged my feet on faster, faster, faster. And then, as if in slow motion, I dove through the air and tumbled into the grass. SAFE. My limbs and lungs both burned with exertion, but I laughed. It was fun—pure and simple.
Fast forward 11 years, and it feels like I live in different world. That fun of my childhood days is now called ‘working out.’ But for many more, it is a chore, a personal obligation, or even a societal necessitation. As we grow older, it seems that fitness becomes valued for what it produces rather than the act itself. It is equated with calories or a weight loss target; six pack abs or buns of steel; number of miles run or pounds lifted.
As insecurity and aesthetics come into play, fitness loses its prior simplicity and becomes quite complicated. We exercise to fit into wedding dresses or to achieve the perfect summer beach bod. It becomes a way to negate the guilt we feel for something else—our body’s natural imperfections or mind’s mistakes. Quite frequently, we use fitness with the sole intent of justifying what we eat, whether that means a Thanksgiving feast or a dessert indulgence. Regardless of the reason, we often exercise with “fun” far from the mind. Honestly but no less hesitantly, I can admit that I am guilty of this. And maybe, you have the courage to admit that you are, too.
But perhaps we as foodies, college kids, man or woman can make true fitness a goal together. We can make it a goal to find a form of fitness we love, without dwelling on its latent effects. We can exercise our ability to challenge our bodies both mentally and physically. We can remember that there exists such a thing as exercise for the sake of exercise itself. Not to lose weight; to make amends for what we eat; or to beautify our bodies. But rather, just because—just because at the end of the day, fitness need only be one thing:
**4 Tips for Making Fitness Fun**