Are you putting yourself in a fitness box?

I know what you're thinking.

No one puts Baby in the corner.

If you're not thinking that, then chances are you're under 35 years old and never saw the wonder that was Patrick Swayze on the big screen.

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I’ve been fortunate in my athletic career to avoid major injuries (knocking wood as we speak here), and one of my only surgeries to date was an arthroscopic procedure on my knee known as IT band lateral release surgery.

As the doctor put it a few days after the surgery, “I always like to take a healthy person and make her limp.”

I was a 25 years old avid runner. At the time, I’d been training for the Cleveland Marathon when I started to feel like Joe Pesci had taken a baseball bat to the outside of my knee. Eventually, I was diagnosed with IT Band Syndrome or runner's knee.

When I started exploring options for treatment, the overwhelming recommendation was to take time off from running and cross train.

And, stubborn 25 year old that I was, I refused to do either. When the doctor proposed the IT band lateral release surgery, (which I don’t think they do anymore), I jumped at it.  

Running wasn't just my form of exercise, it was my identity.

I see a lot of this thinking in the fitness world. Someone is a yogi, a cyclist, a power lifter, or a runner, and, much like I was, resistant to try other things. We know we "should." We know it would be good for us. 

I did myself no favors that summer, and while I returned to running a few months after the surgery, chances are I’d have been able to do so anyway with just rest and…drum roll please…some cross training.

It's great to find an identity through fitness (we'll avoid the deeper questions of who am I for now), but sometimes limiting yourself from other activities can cause more harm than good.

Also...

Yesterday I experimented with Facebook Live. If you can ignore the weird thing I'm doing with my hands (air piano maybe?), you might be actually find something useful to do with that fitness equipment that's been sitting in your spare room since last year :)

Click here to watch yesterday's video on stability balls.

But wait - there's more :)

Because last week was Thanksgiving and we're in the thick of the holiday season, sign up for my newsletter below to get a free guide on keeping a toe in the fitness water during the holiday season.