Elaine Doll-Dunn, Psy.D.

Attitude means approach, outlook, manner, stance, position, feelings, thoughts, mind-set, way of thinking, opinion, viewpoint, view, standpoint, line, posture, pose, or way of behaving. So, take your pick, in the realm of fitness, what is your attitude? Being fit is an attitude. When you have the attitude, outlook, mind-set, way of thinking, blah, blah, blah, that fitness is imperative and that you are a fit person even if some tweaking may be in order, it all falls into place.

To make a change in your life, become that change. In other words, regardless of where you are in your a fitness level, remember that a fit person jumps out of bed in the morning and goes about the personal fitness routine as a matter of course. Just as in brushing your teeth; no excuses, no rationales, it’s just what you do. When that routine becomes a habit, and when skipping it leaves an unfinished feeling; you’ve become a committed fit person! And the rest is just a matter of perseverance, goals, and celebrating where fitness takes you.

So if you have decided to become a fit person (or a fitter person), the first change is attitude. What you do doesn’t matter so much as that you do it. Nothing gets in the way of your work-out. Imagined injuries, too much work to do, a nasty day outside, company coming, bad hair day….can’t be an option. Do something.

Once you have the “fit” attitude, and are making it happen, the next attitudinal tweak could be how you approach and feel about your work-out. If you constantly dread the very thought of your chosen exercise and look at it as drudgery, then you’re in a self-destruct mode. We don’t continue long with something we dread or hate doing. Think positive. Form the attitude that you are a partner in health with your body, the most incredible machine you will ever own. You’ll begin to find the joy and excitement in what you’re doing and in what it’s doing for you.

Actually, once you get out the door, it’s pretty hard not to feel great in the ambiance of a Spearfish morning (or noon, or evening, I prefer morning because it speeds up the metabolism and I continue to burn calories all day at a faster rate than if I hadn’t exercised. Plus, if nothing else gets accomplished, I can always look back on a good work-out!)

Jeff Galloway suggests developing a mantra for getting launched from your soft warm bed to the cold hard pavement; practice this. Set out your shoes, shorts, shirt, and coffee cup. When you go to bed at night, chant to yourself, “Shoes, shorts, shirt, coffee. Shoes, shorts, shirt, coffee.” Keep that up until it’s a subconscious message to yourself that’s hard to deny…as you see and feel the results of your work it will get easier and easier.

I won’t kid you, I don’t absolutely love to run, but I do love having run. A subtle difference, but one that has gotten me out the door and down the road for 26 years and 33, 888.5 miles. Not bad for a 1937 model, with only one major over-haul and a minor replacement part.

It’s worth the effort, trust me. So just for the health of it, cop an attitude.

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