What is it about exercise that makes it so addictive? Addictive in a good way though. Is there such thing as a good addiction? I believe there is.

For as long as I can remember I have been playing something or doing some form of exercise. The addiction started from a young age. We lived in Dublin until I was nine and so there was always something new to take part in. For me it ranged from athletics to table tennis to gymnastics to even jazz ballet! Clearly my parents were just trying to fill our time until they got home from work… luckily for them it worked!  The only sport I wasn’t allowed to take part in was badminton, because I was too young to join the club. My parents played, as did my older sister. I used to go down to watch and seemingly I used to complain to my mum saying I was better than most of the adults there! Funny thing was I don’t think I had even hit a shuttle at this stage!

I was dying to play, mostly because I wasn’t allowed to.

I also loved being outside and as I was never into the things most girls my age were into, I just ended up hanging out with the boys. One of my fondest childhood memories is my ninth birthday party where the only stipulation of mine was that there were no girls allowed! We just stayed out all day playing soccer and messing around. It was the perfect day.

 

 

Then to my dismay we upped and moved “down the country”. I was devastated. To make matters worse I was shoved into a convent. Who the hell was I going to play soccer with now?!

 

As you do when you are a child, you learn to adapt very quickly. It wasn’t long before I was part of the athletics club, where I met an amazing girl who remains my best friend to this day.  I also took up horse-riding and basketball. But the very first thing I did was join a badminton club. I was finally allowed to play! And play I did. For the next fifteen years. I was fortunate enough to win national titles and represent my country all around the world. And I loved every minute of it.  

 

It goes without saying I was quite competitive.  Not necessarily with other people but more so with myself. I’m convinced you are either born a competitive person or you’re not. And neither way is better than the other.  For me, I just always wanted to better myself. I enjoyed pushing myself to the limit and seeing how far I could go.  I was addicted to the adrenaline rush and freedom of it all, where I could just be myself.  

 

Recently, I was very lucky to get the opportunity to try out a new sport – rowing. To say I am hooked is an understatement. I love everything about it…being outside on the open water, getting top-notch coaching, making friends with a whole new group of likeminded, positive people, coming home after a great session refreshed and revitalised (and exhausted!). I have never slept so well in all my life!  I just love the thrill of learning something new. I really can’t recommend this sport enough.

 

So as you can see I have a slight obsession with sport and exercise and everything that comes with it. Why do you think I am training to become a PE teacher?!

 

Reasons to Get Hooked

  1. It releases a crazy amount of endorphins, so you feel amazing after it.
  2. You get a ready-made new group of friends.
  3. You get to travel to new places you wouldn’t ordinarily go to.
  4. You could end up coaching and sharing your passion with others.
  5. It’s always a good ice breaker.
  6. There is a sport out there for everyone, be it competitively or socially.
  7. There are massive health benefits including living longer and having a better quality of life.
  8. Boosts your energy.
  9. Makes you more efficient at your job as it forces you to become better at time management.
  10. Teaches you discipline.
  11. You learn to overcome your fears.
  12. Improves your mental health.
  13. Last but not least, for the vanity that lurks in us all…you will look better!!

 

So go on, find a sport that you like and give it a go.

I can guarantee you won’t regret it, and who knows, you might even get addicted too!

 

# BitchMittens Ruth