This post is a little out of the ordinary…it will swing around to fitness (sort of) but it will take the long road. It’s a personal post that you can feel free to skip over, but if you read it, you’ll get a little insight into my head (and the heads of others with a similar disposition).
Recently, someone suggested to me that I need to ‘get a life’…
Well, to be truthful, the words were ‘you need to get a hobby’, but with bruised feelings, my interpretation was that I needed to ‘get a life’.
Being the introverted thinker that I am, I figured I needed to consider the comment carefully before reacting. After all, the comment came from a good friend with good intentions; maybe there was some truth to it.
’So, what’s considered a hobby?’ I asked my friend.
The answer was that it had to be something:
- Unrelated to work
- I enjoy doing
- I do on the regular
- I was passionate about
- And it HAD TO BE SOCIAL
There are plenty of things I enjoy doing, but this description of a ‘hobby’ didn’t sit well with me…
First off, let me tackle the ‘social’ criteria of what she considered a hobby. And let me tell you something about me (and all the introverts out there)….
Sometimes an introvert looks at an extrovert and wonders, ‘I don’t seem to enjoy the constant company of others… maybe there’s something wrong with me.’
Similarly, sometimes an extrovert looks at an introvert and thinks, ‘She spends a lot of time alone. What’s wrong with her?’
Extroverts sometimes want to fix introverts thinking that they must be lonely or unhappy spending time alone.
They don’t understand our need to have mental space and think. They don’t know how exhausting it is for an introvert to be around others. This isn’t a slight about the company of others (necessarily); it’s just that this is how introverts are energized.
Being alone and doing solitary things energize introverts.
Being around others and doing social things energize extroverts. In fact, extroverts may tend to climb a wall when given too much alone time. They feel most alive in a crowd.
Neither introvert or extrovert is better nor worse, it just is.
For an extrovert to tell an introvert that they need to ‘be more social’ is like an introvert telling an extrovert to ‘think more’.
Once I had squared this away, my friend’s comment didn’t sting as much. My extroverted friend may have just overlooked my need to do solitary things to feel more energized.
For me, happiness is a good book, a dog walk and time to write. These are things I enjoy on the regular. Yes, they may seem boring as h#ll to others, but probably another introvert would understand.
The other thing I do on the regular with passion is train.
My well-meaning friend discounted training as a hobby – ‘Nope, she said, that’s like brushing your teeth, just a necessity of life. Plus it’s your work so it’s doubly discounted’.
Okay, I understand her point. Many people find fitness to be a chore, something to mark off the ‘to do’ list and thankfully add to the ‘to done’ list a minimum of three times a week.
That is NOT me, and my guess, since you’re on my blog and you’ve read thus far, is that this might not be you either.
People like us live for fitness and health related stuff.
I’m a geek for learning new training techniques, talking ‘fitness shop’, buying fitness gear, discovering new fitness adventures.
When my friend told me that fitness wasn’t my hobby, I suppose she was right…
Fitness is my life.
My whole life has revolved around it. I started as a five year old doing sporty things (competitive swimming at the time). I continued in all things sport related from then on. All the jobs I did as a young adult involved sport. I chose a degree in college (kinesiology) and a career (teaching) because I wanted to encourage others to love movement too. Finally I gave up a teaching career to start a fitness business because I felt compelled to help others in their fitness journey.
Now I get to LIVE my passion, my ‘hobby’ of fitness full time to actually make a living ‘doing fitness’.
She was right. Fitness is not my ‘hobby’.
I feel like sometimes those that don’t enjoy their work need a hobby. They can’t wait until 5 pm or the weekend to do something that they love.
But what if I can’t wait until Monday morning to get up and crack my laptop to write a workout plan? Or plan a fitness boot camp program for my local clients? Or talk about what others are doing for their workout and share what I’m doing?
What if I feel pressured to ‘be social’ on a weekend when I’m really just excited to launch an online coaching program? Or videotape follow-along workouts for you?
After much thought, I decided that I could agree with my friend just a little…sometimes I tend to get immersed a little too deeply in my ‘hobby’ (or I work too much as she’d say) and it’s good for me to actually get out more.
You see, I live in a funny world; someone in a more traditional job may not understand this.
The world is remarkably small with the Internet. I find that with this online business, some of my best friends are all over the world. While this can be exciting for travel, come Friday night, it’s more difficult to plan an outing.
For example, my publishing partner, Lisa Bullock is in Melbourne, Australia. We had a weekly Skype date on Wednesday afternoons for two years before actually meeting in person. I brought Lisa into my business to help manage content for my alter ego – Female Fat Loss Over 40.
When we finally met face to face, we were fast friends. (You can see the way we’re helping women with all things fitness here: www.FemaleFatLossOverForty.com)
In addition to Lisa, I often meet and work with other fitness pros ‘online’ through mutual introductions long before we shake hands in person.
I have opportunity to travel to cool places and hang out with these people from all over. While I love this aspect of my life, I sometimes wish I could do more local hanging out with the company of these like-minded fitness friends.
Fortunately I have some good local friends too. To be completely honest though, I’m not the kind of person with hundreds of them. I’m the typical introvert who tends to have just a few close friends.
My point (and I’m sure there is one here)…is that everyone is a little different and that’s okay. We all find satisfaction in different ways. It’s great to have a passion and it doesn’t matter whether it’s manifested through your work or with a hobby or maybe both. I may be a whole lot different from friend, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I feel very fortunate to be able to share my fitness passion with you. Thank you for your continued support with reading my emails and blog posts.
Do you have any thoughts on the matter?
What are you passionate about? Do you have a hobby? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.