Double Standard?

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Jennifer O'Donnell-Giles
Joined: 10/16/2012

Making time for exercise is a universal challenge. No one will disagree with me on that one! Unless you are a professional athlete, we all need to "squeeze it in" wherever and whenever we can. Sometimes we need to get creative like running around the soccer field during your child's practice, or jogging home from the garage after dropping your car to be serviced, or even doing squats, lunges, and jumping rope in the driveway while your 2 year old naps. Whatever the scenario I consistently recommend thinking out of the box to my athletes when it comes to fitting it in. Exercise has to be planned into a busy schedule that is already overcrowded with work, children, family, friends and community responsibilities. Getting creative as we fit in workouts can actually be fun!  It may not be easy but it's most definitely achievable if you want it badly enough!

This brings me to my next question... at the same time that I preach this approach to my athletes (as well as practice this myself) I also have recently heard people judging others who do this. So is there a double standard out there? We all want to be healthy and fit and want to find time to exercise and motivation to eat right, yet do we judge others who are successful at it? Are we annoyed at our coworker who chooses to run during lunch rather than work through it?  All of a sudden, prioritizing health and fitness and endurance goals are "obsessive", "addictive behavior" or "selfish". I'm not totally sure why we wouldn’t support others who are setting goals and working to achieve those goals instead of putting them down and accusing them of having issues.

I know I sound slightly defensive but I have heard others talk badly about people who are not "over exercising" or "compulsive". I've even heard people accuse them of being bad parents or bad business partners. All of which I think is unfair. In fact I truly believe that athletes who set goals, follow a plans, and achieve their goal in the long run make better parents and better coworkers based on their ability to "fit it all in!"

What are your thoughts?

I agree with you Jenn! I have the best intentions to fit it in, but I found what works for me is to schedule it in just like I do a meeting - a meeting with myself :) If that means waking up at 4:30am to jog before work (shadow running is what I call it and it is absolutely the most peaceful time to jog along the ocean strand!) or making sure I get to my favorite yoga class in the evening. Making myself a priority prevents other not-so-important things from creeping in and derailing me from my fitness goals. Now, about the double standard, I know exactly what you mean and I see it too. I feel it is a sense of insecurity on the part of the bitter one who knows they should be more active, but just haven't figured out how they can do it - a sense of jealousy maybe? ...I actually feel guilty when I see others getting in a workout when I can't. That just makes me want to work harder at getting in my sweat time! It is actually a motivator and I thank them for that. Thank you for your great post.
I do my best to stay true to myself and keep to my Tuesday lunchtime workout, but I can't help feeling guilty when the office is really busy. I wish I'd get over that. When I am busy and I take the time to workout, I'm definitely more productive for the rest of the day. When I skip it, I regret it and feel like a slug. So at the end of the day, I think it's best for all parties if I do my workout. So, I recommend forgetting about what other people think and just do it! :)