fencing exercise and procrastinationI’ll get to exercising tomorrow.

Well, maybe next week, I’m not feeling so great this week.

I’ve been so busy this month, I just haven’t gotten around to it.

I’ll start exercising this summer after competition season when things settle down.

It’s something that I know I do – procrastinate. When there’s something that we don’t want to do, or that just doesn’t seem so important, we put it off. Procrastinating doesn’t make you a bad person, and it doesn’t mean that you’re going to fail at life. What it does mean is that you’re going to miss opportunities and that you’re going to feel even more pressure and stress. In the moment, it almost always feels good to procrastinate. That’s why we do it. But in the long term it always feels worse.

Exercising – How Not To Put It Off

For fencers, procrastination comes in lots of forms. One place that we really see it is when it comes to exercise. Exercise is an amazing way to improve your fencing ability, to take your fencing to the next level.

The beautiful thing about fencing is that it is an intellectual pursuit that is lived out through the body. We think, and then we act. That means that your mind and your body must both be sharp and able to react quickly. You’ve also got to be able to sustain your energy through a long match, which means being physically fit. The more in shape you are, the more you support your fencing with good quality exercise outside of the fencing club, the easier you’ll be able to focus on your mind during a match.

How can you make sure that you support the physical aspects of your fencing without putting it off? Here are some strategies.

●    Set realistic goals

While it might be great for you to run a marathon, for your fencing training you need considerably less in order to improve your performance. Make goals that support your fencing goals and don’t make you feel overwhelmed and you’re more likely to dig in and do them. You might aim to hit the gym on days that you aren’t training at the club, or to sneak in a twenty minute run in the morning before the day begins.

●    Find a friend

Social pressure is a powerful way to keep you from putting things off. Workout with a friend or make a connection with a fellow fencer who also wants to improve their physical fitness for the strip, then cheer one another along.

●    Be flexible with yourself

This is not an all or nothing thing. During competition season your workouts might be less, and that’s ok! If you’re training more at the club and traveling to compete, then you’re just going to have less time. However you won’t have NO time, so figure out some ways to make exercise fit into your schedule even if it’s in a limited capacity. It’s far better to do something than nothing.

●    Support your fencing

Though there are certainly benefits to exercising that go well beyond making your fencing better, if you’re a passionate fencer and you tie your physical fitness goals to your fencing then you’re more likely to get going and to stick with them.

If anything, take solace in the fact that you’re not alone if you find yourself procrastinating, especially when it come to exercise! We all do it, but the trick is to work together to overcome these tendencies that really only hurt ourselves in the end.