Fit Five Friday – All Aboard the Struggle Bus

18 January, 2023 18 By Renée
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Welcome to the Fit Five Friday

Hooray! It’s time for Fit Five Friday! Your five amazing hosts – me, My First 5K and MoreRunning With Attitude, Runs with PugsZenaida are here to make your Fridays fun!

We have a topic prompt schedule if you want to join in but not sure what to write about:

Five struggles I face in my own fitness journey

Vulnerability Alert: This was kind of a hard post for me to write. I am everyone’s cheerleader, but so hard on myself, so there may have been some tears in writing it. I’m sharing because I think it’s important to honest and transparent. Because if there is one person out there who can relate or feel less alone by my experiences and words, then I’ve served a purpose.

Being Unwell

Let’s face it, whether you have a short-term illness or a longer, more chronic illness, this can really reserve us a seat on the struggle bus. When you are an active person, having a setback by being ill really sucks (ok it sucks even if you are not active, but it’s all relative) I notice for some active folks it’s especially devastating and hard to accept that your body might need some downtime from fitness to get well. A vicious circle in some cases where our mental health is concerned. I also notice quite some warriors out there as well. Let us be inspired by them, but also know when it’s time to listen to your body.

Time Constraints

This one is hard for me in particular. I really wonder how some people are able to run, workout, go to their job, take care of family/home, blog and have a lot of engagement on social media. Perhaps I’m not quite at the point of managing my time well. Of course I do not get up at 4:30AM either (but I do get up now at 4:45 on my commute days). When I say I don’t have time, do I really not have time? Or have I not quite found the balance yet? If I can get up at 4:45 on commute days why not on other days (Spoiler alert: it’s because I like sleep and sleep is so hard to come by for me sometimes)?

While I try very hard not to compare to others and others manage (because let’s face it, I don’t know the whole story on someone else’s life), I often wonder what is wrong with me? why can’t I just manage it?

Not Having a Rhythm

This one kind of goes along with time constraints. To be perfectly honest with you. I feel like I really lost my own rhythm a few months into the pandemic. I was reflecting on this today actually; I had my health, my job, my husband, but I lost everything else. I lost my gym dates, I lost my running club, I lost my training group, there was no in-person meetings/ get togethers for a long time. My mental health wasn’t that great in the first place, because, well, I was struggling in 2019 with depression and injury and then 2020 hit and it was like, “oh, you’re not ready to be strong on your own? too bad!”. I think there were periods of effort but eventually it all felt like it was spiralling. I really haven’t had a rhythm for a while now.

With my new job, it’s also been tough. I don’t have the same flexibility I had at my last job (but that’s the ONLY thing I miss), plus I need to be in the office 1 – 2 days a week. I WANT to have a rhythm, that’s the important thing – and now I have to create it.

Starting Over

Anyone who’s basically had to start their running journey over knows this is a huge struggle. How do we remove the memories from our brain? How do we just forget about the times when running wasn’t a struggle? When 5K was the minimum you would run 3 – 6 times a week and then 10K became the new 5K? How do you go from running “fast enough” to belong in a running club to what some people do as a fast walk? It’s hard. I’m sad. However there will be a time soon enough where I’m able to let go of all that and just start again. And reflect back that I actually love it, that it made me feel good and that I am still a runner regardless of my pace.

Embarrassment/ Low Self-Esteem

Full disclosure, one of my biggest struggles is the embarassement and low self-esteem I have at the moment with regards to my body. On the one hand I am trying very hard to step out of diet culture and accept me and my body how I am at this stage in my life. On the other hand I don’t recognise myself sometimes. Really, truly, honestly, I feel like my body completely abandoned me.

The ironic part of it all is that if a friend were telling me that she felt embarrassed about her body/ weight gain / slowness, etc. I would be kind and loving and I would tell her it doesn’t matter. None of those things matter. What matters is that you do what brings you joy.

If I’m a better friend to myself, perhaps this will ease the struggle. Work In Progress, friends.

What is something you struggle with right now? Share and maybe we can ease the burden together.

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