"I'm No Pro Athlete…But I Try it Anyway"

"Let's go rollerskating!" " Can we all go on a hike?" "What about horseback riding?"

Sound familiar? Both you and the girls have some great ideas for getting outside—but are you (or the girls) secretly hoping the chill in the air will last a bit longer to avoid feeling self-conscious about your appearance?

Relax, the author of this "how to" can not only offer tips but first-hand perspective on getting outdoors and yes, enjoying it!

It's true, I am not athletic or into exercise. But does that mean I have NO spring in my step? Since many "how to" articles offer a question for self-assessment, answer this—are you into having fun? If the answer is yes, then approach engaging in outdoor activities from that perspective—it's fun!

Set the Tone

Thoughts of "Oh my, are those my thighs?" or "what is jiggling that should not be?" can consume your thoughts when you venture into outdoor activities. Those thoughts have certainly crossed my mind! Take it from one who knows, it's not easy to decide to "get out there" without looking around at who may be looking at you. But you've set the tone before and may not even realize it—when you first met with the girls in your troop or group, perhaps. Don't stop now! Letting your discomfort stop you from enjoying outdoor experiences sends a message to the girls you don't want to convey.

Spring Into Action

You are not expected to run a triathlon and win medals. It's about getting out there and trying. Participating in outdoor activities requires only that you put one foot in front of the other and be a part of it. Whether it be a game of Frisbee®, softball, or something requiring more activity, be kind to yourself and recognize the big picture—you're outdoors, enjoying beautiful weather, while you and the girls are moving around and having fun.

Variety Is Key

You wouldn't like to eat the same thing over and over, would you? The same applies to outdoor activities. Ask the girls what activities they would like to do—you don't have to lead every activity. Perhaps a Tai Chi session led by a volunteer from the community would be just the thing the girls have in mind. A variety of activities and volunteers keeps it interesting for both you and the girls. Besides, not doing it all gives you time to smell the roses and catch your breath!

Being active and participating in outdoor activities may initially feel uncomfortable. And of course if you have any health issues that limit participation you should follow your doctor's guidelines. But with realistic expectations, active participation, and humor, you may be laughing right alongside the girls and enjoying yourself outdoors. Who said learning about yourself is just for girls?