It is an irony in my life that I do not like being told what to do in most situations. But we'll come back to that. First we must get all discursive up in here. A little over a year ago, I lost a bunch of weight while doing very little formal exercise. I walked when I felt like it. I hiked when I felt like it and could convince someone to go into the woods with me. I did yoga at home. When I felt like it. You see the common denominator there, right? Having reached the end of my weightloss journey (don't you hate when people call it that? yeah, me too), I decided the next step was to get in really good shape. It was obvious that that was NOT going to happen without some kind of external structure, vague as it might be.
I narrowed down my options to a few that had piqued my interest. I could do Couch to 5k, a beginner's running program, that many, many people online were enamored with. It would cost nothing, other than new running shoes. The podcasts were even free on iTunes. Or, I could start going to this beautiful new yoga/TRX studio that had opened fairly close--but not terribly conveniently close--to my work. Their website was impressive. The classes, however, were fairly expensive and not all of the ones I would be interested in trying were offered at times that I could get there. I could re-join the all-women's gym I used to go to when my son was young. It was very conveniently located, but I had some personal grudges towards the company based on friends having worked for them. Finally, I happened to walk right by a small group personal training place for women that had opened not too long before. Their website was, well, somewhat scary. They were a franchise, and it all seemed very vaguely cult-like. There was all this hooha about how they didn't accept just anyone as a member and that you had to have a measurable goal you were committed to reaching and you had to "be coachable." I said to my friends, "Oh. I'm probably not, right?"
So I joined the Y across the street from them, and I've never been happier.
What brings this up? Well, I read other people's blogs and workout logs and journals and there seems to be a subtype of person who is the exact opposite of me. They want a coach/trainer and they want that coach to tell them exactly what to eat and when, exactly what workout to do on which days, when they can rest. They thrive on being given direction and not having to make any of the decisions about this stuff themselves. THEY "are coachable." Since just seeing somebody else (who likes it!) being told exactly how many calories they are allowed to have makes my back go up, I feel sure that I was right in my assessment that I am not.
So, what kind of fitness individual are you? Do you like someone else to come up with a plan for you and make you follow it? Is it comforting to have an "expert" taking charge? Or would you rather wing it in your fitness life, making your own plans, experimenting, asking advice from other people and only taking what sounds most sensible to you? Or are you some combination of the above? Do you like structure imposed by someone else? Do you like structure only if imposed by yourself? Do you hate structure of any kind? What motivates you? What infuriates you? What bores you?