You're not expected to look like a fit athlete for your entire life.
It's been about four years since I was involved in sports. I started playing when I was about 8 or 9 and I didn't stop until I was 18. Soccer was my sport, and it was my life for all of those years.
As my time with it came to an end, I was starting to feel some relief to be done with it. I loved it and all of the people that were in my life because of it, but I was just exhausted. I was tired and I just wanted to be done with workouts and running and practices.
In my four years of not really doing any physical activities, I obviously went from being in shape to being out of shape. I don't have the endurance I once had, I lost the muscle I had built up over the years, and I'm just...out of shape.
At first, I didn't care that I wasn't doing anything active because I was so tired from so many years of running and working out that I just didn't want to do it anymore. But as time went on, I started to feel bad because it seemed like everyone else was still staying active and in shape.
A few times along the way, I tried to make myself a workout/exercise routine, but something would happen and I'd skip a day, and I just never kept up with it for long.
Recently, a friend and I have decided that we want to try to go running a few times a week and start eating a little better. After we did our first run together, I felt bad because I was struggling. I used to be able to run 4-5 miles at one time when I was playing sports, but walking one mile and running one mile this day was just so difficult.
But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it's completely OK that I'm not as fit as I was when I was playing sports. I don't have to be in great shape every second of my entire life.
Exercise is important and I know that once I get into this routine of running a couple of days a week, it'll be easy for me to stick to it. And I want to stick to it, but I don't have to be able to run 5 miles. I don't have to act like running a mile or two isn't difficult for me.