The most lame excuse I’ve recently heard for not exercising is “I can’t afford a personal trainer”. One of the appealing aspects of staying fit is that it is something that money can’t buy. Walking and running are the most accessible forms of exercise and all it takes is a pair of comfortable shoes. One of the reasons African runners are able to realize their potential in the sport is that running does not require expensive equipment, gyms and pools or a horse. The simplicity and accessibility of running makes it the MOST competitive sport in the world.
A friend once referred to certain sports as “country club” sports, the Modern Pentathlon and equestrian sports for example. With all due respect to those who participate and excel in these sports and those outside the typical demographic for that sport, the global talent pool which running draws from exceeds that of any sport by a country club mile.
Most everyone in the world has at one time in their lives run a race be it formal or informal, school races or racing to catch a bus or to catch or escape from playmates.
When a girl, our family paid regular visits to relatives in a neighbouring suburb. Their home was on a crescent and our route there, had us drive to the top of the crescent and loop back around a bend near a walking path connected to an earlier part of our route. I would have my dad let me off near this shortcut and I would run furiously towards my cousin’s home hoping to arrive before the car. I always won! Thinking about this now, I never gave thought at the time as to whether my dad purposely let me win. I will have to ask him about the legitimacy of this unbeaten streak.
Maria Mutola, perhaps the most successful female runner in history was “discovered” running barefoot while playing soccer in Mozamique, one of the poorest countries in the world. An Olympic gold medalist, she is the only athlete to have successfully earned the $1,000,000 Golden League prize for consecutive wins in this series and upon retirement returned to her first love, soccer. You can read an interesting account of this running heroine in the Guardian article Maria Mutola still leads from front – but in South African football.
All this to say, if you are convinced that you will improve your quality of life both mentally and physically, by adopting the habit of regular exercise, I advise you to just get out there and “Do It!” or as this more recent Nike ad says, “No Excuses!”