Fitness hoarding: Can you do it all?

I’m moving soon. That meant this past weekend was spent getting organized so I can pack. This is the fifth time over the past eight years I’ve winnowed my possessions and each time it becomes a bigger challenge. It’s not like I was a hoarder: during the first few phases of this paring-down process, a lot of the stuff I had to get rid (both literally and figuratively) were things I’d somehow come into possession of either through inheritance or by default.

But now it’s gotten to the point where I have to decide about getting rid of entire activities. How do I want to spend my time? What makes the cut? In other words, do I get rid of the craft stuff I haven’t touched in several months (years?), even though I like to think I might take it up again? What about the biking and swimming equipment? The photo paraphernalia? Heck, I think I even have some scrapbooking supplies left from when I lived in Germany and made albums of our travels.

Qualification hoarding: this barely scratches the surface ....

Qualification hoarding: this barely scratches the surface ….

While I was hand wringing over what to dump, I realized I have this same issue when it comes to fitness. I want to do everything, and I’m kind of hoarder when it comes to my workouts. Over the years I’ve racked up an embarrassing number of qualifications and certifications that I don’t use. I want to use them because most of the things I’ve learned are fun, and plus constantly switching up our workouts keeps us fresh, but it’s just not feasible.

I know there’s a percentage of people who understand what I’m talking about. They want to do yoga, they want to run, they want to lift, they want to do step class, they love to dance, and how about that Tough Mudder or the 10K, and maybe a fitness show. And kettlebells, MMA, Crossfit and barre workouts, and etc.

You can’t do it all. You will end up overtired with overuse injuries, and plus you’ll never get really good at any of the things are working toward. Your energy will be too diffused. Take it from me, who has given it a valiant effort. Don’t do it.

So what do you do? First, remember that there are many versions of “fit,” and even more ways to get there. And then you make sure that whatever class/program/activity/fun you choose you choose gives you the meat-and-potatoes of fitness: resistance training — so many things fall into this category, even swimming! — to keep you strong and lean, cardio for your heart and lungs, and then you can layer on the other stuff for fun and whatever personal goals you might have.

For me, right now (it’ll change, trust me) that includes teaching two high-intensity 30-minute core classes a week (CXWORX), one fun 45-minute cardio dance class (Sh’bam), and then lifting weights in the weight room several times a week, along one or two fun cardio workouts that fit whatever mood I’m in at the time.

What does your routine look like? A brisk walk after dinner and some swimming? Classes at the gym? What are you enjoying?

Wendy Watkins

About Wendy Watkins

Wendy Watkins is a Bangor-based personal trainer, fitness coach, studio owner, and writer/editor. She is the author of The Complete Idiots Guide to Losing 20 Pounds in 2 Months. Visit her website at