Exercise shaming, it's a thing.
Runners think crossfitters are insane. People who lift judge cardio lovers as weak. Oh, and Zumba addicts? Yeah, they're downright pathetic. As a runner, turned HIIT, TABATA loving girl who also lifts and occasionally goes to a Zumba class I've heard it all. Though it was never directed at me, I found exercise shaming straight-up disheartening. Living an active life should be celebrated, not desecrated.
Why Exercise Shaming is Ridiculous
Let's pause for a minute and think about why exercise shaming is ridiculous. Here we stand as people –talking about other people–even though we both succeeded at the same thing: making it through a workout. I don't know about you, but I live for the WOD and still find it a struggle to get motivated some days. The person you're judging faces those same struggles too.
I remember the first time I walked into a gym. I felt sick. I was convinced everyone knew exactly what they were doing and I would stand out like a sore thumb. I didn't know how to operate the equipment, let alone perform a perfect squat. 15 years later I have a half marathon under my belt, finally found a fitness routine that works for me, and have set PRs I never thought possible. The point? You don't know where someone is on their fitness journey. The important thing is that they're making the journey.
The best way to avoid exercise shaming is to educate yourself. Albert Einstein said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Did you know you can burn up to 650 calories in a Zumba class? That's some serious caloric burn! Until you've experienced the last mile in a marathoners footsteps, the first bootcamp class of one who struggles with their weight, or the last du of the crossfit 17.5 WOD, don't judge. Fitness is defined and interpreted by the individual, and that's OK.
The Solution to Exercise Shaming? Live AMRAP
The entire premise behind AMRAP Life is to live As Many Reps As Possible and it's this very mindset that destroys exercise shaming. Rather than judging, re-direct that energy into your workout. Whatever you do to stay fit, own it. If you lift, go heavier. If you run, go faster. If you Zumba it down, shake those hips with more intensity than you did last week. Compete against yourself and yourself alone and the gains will come.
Remember: Live, Love, AMRAP.
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