Playing sports at a young age was how I was first introduced to fitness. Through these experiences, I learned that kids need to play for at least one hour a day to stimulate their body, mind and overall vitality. I think I’ve always felt the most vibrant when I was on a field, on a court, or in a training session. That was when I always felt my truest self come out. Those are the moments where you push your boundaries, you push how hard you can breathe, and how much you can “take” and it all comes together. There is a thrill that I love to chase; it’s a smirk or a smile and deep down you know you’re chasing something intangible. It feels good. To me, it feels like complete joy. Its important for me and I believe for everyone to continue chasing that feeling – whatever it is for them.

As a trainer, I know that fitness for the betterment of functional movement is important, but I do feel that bringing the feelings of play is also important, no matter your age. Fun is one way to keep us stimulated when we train. When it’s fun, it keeps you coming back for more and that breeds consistency. In that consistency we learn through the challenges that fitness and strength training provide. It’s when it gets to that point that we need to ask ourselves, “How can I keep this fun?” Others may say, “Embrace the suck!”. Different versions of these challenges show up in our lives in many all forms where we will have to ask ourselves the same questions and give ourselves the same pep talks.

Incorporating fun into learning and acquiring new skills keeps your brain stimulated – so you don’t “check out” of the workout and you stay super involved and present with what you are doing. This is super important as we age and functional movement changes across all plains of our lives. By incorporating new movements and bringing variety to our workouts we find new ways to access our bodies, and support them more for all they are capable of. Never shut out the chance to move in a different way. It will benefit your future in mind, body and spirit.

When we play, it’s easier to feel joy. Experiment with bringing joy into your life through activities, social gatherings, dancing, hiking, connecting with the world around you. Stay in the free spirit of fun and joy and your time in the gym will go by much faster – and you won’t have to embrace the suck. Find the stimuli that keeps you present and will remind you what it’s like to be in your body — to be alive.