Fitness

Don’t let labels limit you

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If you want to be someone you’ve never been before, you’ve got to do things you’ve never done before

For the longest time I termed myself “not a morning person”. Like a lot of you, I liked staying up late at night and disliked waking up early. But the fact that I labelled myself as not a morning person gave me the license to do certain things and not do certain things. I’d stay up late watching TV, claiming I’m a night owl. I’d be grumpy in the morning for no reason and playing or studying or doing anything at all in the early hours of the day was ruled out because, well, “I just am not a morning person.” But, in reality, I was not a night owl and neither was I a morning person. These were just labels that I used to define, and hence limit, myself. And you do it too. 

We all have certain modifiable characteristics which we aren’t fond of modifying. But that doesn’t mean we put a label on it and convince ourselves and everyone else that it is somehow a part of who we are. 

We define ourselves and there is no denying that. Limitations and boundaries are mental before they are physical and they are self-applied most times. No, you’re not too old to run and no, there is no level of fitness you can’t achieve with enough training. If you believe you can do something, nine out of ten times, you will do it. But if you believe you can’t, chances are you won’t. 

To be a morning person, all I had to do was to suck it up and wake up early for a few days. It’s not fun initially, but soon I naturally felt sleepy earlier, thereby falling asleep earlier and making it easier to wake up earlier than usual. Now that I sleep earlier, I’m better rested and won’t need to be Mr. Grumpy. See how that works? And that’s how most things work. 

There are no limitations, just labels. Whether you let that label limit you or not is the question. If you want to give running a shot, stop coming up with excuses, get out there and run. Your excuses will soon sound ridiculous. If you think you’re too busy to work on your health, take a chance and try dedicating an hour for health every day for a week. Your other priorities will rearrange themselves. If you think you’re too old to start playing tennis, stop over-thinking and pick up a racquet. You’ll soon realise you don’t feel old anymore. 

We all know that where there is a will, there is a way; but knowing is not enough. We need to apply it. So the next time you cite something about yourself as a reason to resist betterment, tell yourself this: if you want to be someone you’ve never been before, you’ve got to do things you’ve never done before. 

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 3:41:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/fitness/dont-let-labels-limit-you/article6578491.ece

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