Emma Sandall Looks at Putting the Fun Back into Fitness

How to have some fun while meeting your fitness goals. When it comes to fitness, many of us find that having a goal, something to work towards, not only keeps us on track and motivated but gives us an idea of how well we are going. of how well they are doing. This month I talk to Mitch Beare who decided he would sign up for an event a month to keep up his commitment. The outcome? Mitch is very fit and has had a lot of fun staying fit.

Cycling

Emma: What made you to start on your path towards better fitness three or so years ago?
Mitch: I needed to change a whole lot of things in my life – fitness was probably the easiest decision to make but perhaps the hardest to implement. However, once good habits are formed it is easy to maintain.

Emma: How did you come up with the idea of signing up to an event a month?
Mitch: I was setting a new year’s resolution. I thought that doing the city to surf and the half marathon was not challenging enough, so I committed to one event per month. Once I started investigating, I realised that there are so many events that it would be possible to do an event every weekend. However, you would probably be somewhat crazy to attempt this. Like everything, balance is important.

Emma: What was the first event you took part in at this time and how did you prepare yourself?
Mitch: The first event was the Resolution Run held in early January. I did no preparation for this event, which in hindsight caused additional suffering at about the 5km mark.

Emma: Do you prefer to do events with friends or alone and what's the difference?
Mitch: I prefer doing events and sports with friends as it permits a bit of friendly banter and egging on. Experience such events with mates makes them so much more memorable. However, in most cases training requires a personal commitment to get up off the couch and be active.

Emma: What are the strangest and most difficult events you’ve been in? 
Mitch: Wearing a pink tutu in a mud run was pretty strange (although it seemed somewhat normal at the time). The most mentally challenging was my first marathon. At times, both the mind and body wanted to stop but the will to finish keeps your legs ticking along.

Emma: What do you enjoy most about the whole experience? What have you learnt about yourself through this journey? 
Mitch: Increasing my fitness has provided me with a totally different perspective on life. I am now much more positive and have plenty of energy to tackle any challenge. I have learned that, with commitment, it is possible to achieve virtually anything.

Emma: What kinds of people do you see and meet at these events? IS there a great variety? Age range? Fitness range?
Mitch: I am always impressed with the variety of people at these events. People of all ages from all backgrounds and all fitness levels participate and enjoy these events. I am always particularly inspired by those people with disabilities who participate. However, I was less impressed with the Yogi bear that passed me halfway up heart break hill in Sydney's City to Surf.

Emma: Do you think you will keep doing events regularly to keep yourself motivated to exercise or do you think you have created a new habit now?
Mitch: Yes, I plan to continue doing events. I hope to include a greater variety of events (e.g. more swimming) and different places. My next big challenge is the NY marathon in early Nov 2014 followed a few weeks later by the Sydney Mudder (under the team name ‘dirty weekenders’).

Emma: What do you most enjoy doing to stay fit and inspired today? 
Mitch: I enjoy meeting different people and participating in different sports. I am currently trying to spend as much time as possible on a surf ski, although winter might scare me indoors for a while. 

PIC EMMA 
Emma Sandall runs (with Peta Green) Body Playground, an online space for discovering how to put the fun back into your fitness routines. For tips on stretching or to learn a nice sequence you can do any time, any place, check out Vimeo.