Finding new meaning & purpose in the New Year

Image by James Mills

Image by James Mills

This week’s blog contributor is Exercise Physiologist & BBLC Founder Anna-Louise Moule.

Around this time of year there is generally lots of talk about New Years resolutions which are quickly followed by memes of them finding an early grave by February. Because of this I want to share some of my own story and give you some ways to reframe your New Year’s resolutions to find something that becomes part of your lifestyle long term.

At the end of 2010 I was finishing up my last year of university and looking at different ways I could challenge myself to try something new. I saw a story on TV about training for an ocean swim with an organisation called Can Too. Little did I know that setting myself the goal of doing my first ocean swim would become such a big part of my lifestyle still to this day. A lot of what Can Too offers sets up the foundation for creating long term healthy habits, challenging yourself with something new and having a bigger purpose behind just training for the sake of training. Don’t get me wrong I am one of those crazy people that loves exercise, hence this career path, but there are definitely days where you are not motivated to get out for a run or jump in the pool on a colder morning.

As many of you know, since joining Can Too I have completed numerous ocean swims, half marathons and marathons, but above all of these achievements the ones that I find the most meaningful are the impact this group is making on cancer research as well as the friends I have made during the long training sessions.

During school I absolutely hated running and athletics, I would make up any excuse to get out of doing it and if I had a crystal ball to see into the future, I wouldn’t have believed my own eyes. I am not a natural born runner and hated endurance running.

Can Too jumping.jpg

Here are some of the things that Can Too has taught me along the way and shaped the way I look at exercise:

The power of the group and having fun with friends

One of the best things that Can Too can offer is their amazing community that has existed from day one. Having friends by your side can make a tough training session bearable. The key is to find people you enjoy being around and find an activity that you enjoy doing together. Exercise is meant to enhance our lives and be fun, don’t make it a chore. We have been able to create a wonderful little community at BBLC with many of you heading for coffee together after class.

A goal without a plan is just wish

When you join a Can Too program, the coaches are very clear from the start that if you follow the training plan that is set out from the very beginning, whether you are training for a 10km run or a marathon, you will cross the finish line on race day.

When setting New Year’s resolutions, we often wish up ideas of how we want our lives to change without putting in the time and effort to plan how we will achieve this. As Exercise Physiologists, we will ask clients to be very specific with their goals and think about the steps they will need to take to achieve them.

Think about what you want to achieve and step out the action plan week by week or have a chat to us about how we can make this happen.

Training for a bigger purpose and being grateful

Can Too has allowed me to step away from a selfish mindset and on days when training has felt tough or I have wanted to finish early in a race I think about the reason why I am doing it all. The number one reason behind why we suffer through these endurance events is to raise money for cancer research. There are many people who are not able to run a marathon or train for an ocean swim and are enduring much tougher moments than the discomfort of running up a hill. This also puts things into perspective and I often find myself practicing gratitude on my runs that I am able to run and live a healthy life.

So this is the reason why after 8 years and hopefully for many more to come I will be diving into the ocean in the Summer and lacing up my runners in Winter to train with Can Too.

If you would like to make a contribution to Can Too, please click here.

Get in touch with your exercise physiologist in January to discuss your goals for this year and set a plan of action to help you get there successfully!