There are so many excuses to avoid exercise, and I’ve recently been once again working one of my standard excuses.

You see, I don’t live in the most safe area, which makes exercise just that much more difficult. I have an area that encompasses about 4 miles that is really safe enough for me to be out in on my own. Being out at dark is never safe by myself, which means that I only have a few possible hours each day to be outside. In the winter, I have about 30 minutes that could ever work for me to be outdoors. If my walking partner wants to walk, we can do that at night, but we go equipped with ID, phones, a rape whistle, and pepper spray. This makes it a little more difficult to exercise, but that doesn’t need to be an excuse, right?

When I first started exercising in 2010, I walked with a friend from grad school. I started running in December of that year, and felt fine running on my own during the day. However, this didn’t seem to compute with walking. If she cancelled our walk (it’s pretty standard for her to cancel pretty regularly), it meant that I couldn’t walk either. That’s crazy, right? Like I said, I didn’t live in a safe area, but I could convince myself if I was running that I would be safe. Then, one day, in February of 2012, I decided to go on a walk on my own. Revolutionary idea, right? But that seemed to break through a barrier that I had in my mind… allowing me to break through that excuse. Sure, I had to get a little uncomfortable being out on my own, but I found ways to manage the risk as best as I could.

But then I hit the issue of biking. I loved biking, but didn’t have a bike, and again the fact that I only had a few miles of safe area to bike in lead me to another excuse. I found a trail an hour away that is safe enough, so I can drive there if I have time. But, what about days I didn’t want to drive 2 hours round trip but wanted to be able to bike? Well, I’ve found a way to weave through this little area over and over again to get in a long ride. This weekend I biked 15.25 miles in that time area, and managed to not be bored at all. I listened to a podcast, so that helped, but I also enjoyed the breeze and the quiet towards the end.

The thing is, we humans are really good with coming up with excuses. Some of these excuses are very reasonable and understandable. But, I want to challenge you to see if there is another way you could get around your excuses. It might not look the way you want it to look (goodness knows that my situation isn’t ideal!), but it’s still you doing something that is healthy for yourself, or something you want to do! Over these next days, see what excuse you’re holding onto that you can actually resolve in some possible way, and then do it!

Now it’s your turn to share! What are some of the excuses you hold onto in your life? Can you think of a way to resolve the excuse? Do you have an example of an excuse you were able to overcome?