Do you still play? - Diligent Fitness

Do you still play?

24th February 2015 by Kieran Igwe Exercise, Motivation 0 comments

A couple of weeks back we were making small talk at the gym when one of the girls asked if I was still playing tennis. My response? “Of course I play… I mean kind of…. errr… well actually it’s been a couple of weeks… better make that months. Okay, I did play.”

I felt a little embarrassed. I was still a member at the club. I still had a racket and all my gear. And that had to count for something, right?

I’d meant to play every week and always enjoyed playing when I got there. But in reality I hadn’t played for months. So my status as a tennis player could be classed as… pending.

The guardian angel

Then came the text. It was Jonathan, one of the players from the league asking to arrange a date for our match. Whoomp there it is! At last, I’d be making my comeback!

At first I was pretty relieved that someone had reached out and made it easy for me to get back into playing. But when the day came I felt hesitant. Maybe even a little nervous. I hadn’t swung a racket for months. And here I was diving right back in to play a league match.

I even thought about cancelling with the excuse that the conditions weren’t perfect. I swear I could see a cloud off in the distance.

errr, little help please weather

errr, little help please weather

But I’d committed to play and wasn’t about to let Jonathan down. So I donned my slightly too small for me jogging bottoms and slightly too big for me tennis bag (it can fit like five rackets, even though I only have one) and hauled my sorry carcass over to the court.

Back in the game

As soon as I got on the court I remembered why I started playing in the first place. The physical challenge of a rally. Getting fully absorbed in the moment. The discipline of cleaning the slate after each point and starting fresh. I was a convert. Well, a re-convert.

What it took to get motivated

I would of started playing at some point. But a couple more months could’ve easily slipped by. And the longer I left it the worse I’d be and the harder it would’ve been to make a comeback. So thanks Jonathan, your nudge was just what I needed to get me back on it.

The power of the gentle nudge

If I wasn’t interested in playing, or if Jonathan was nagging me it would have just got my back up. So I appreciate the gentle nudge needs to be applied in the right place at the right time.

But because he simply invited me to do something I actually wanted to do it really worked. By reaching out and making the first move he made easy.

Inactivity amnesty

So, here’s the challenge. If there’s something you’ve been meaning to get into (or get back into) I want to pass the nudge on.

If you’re up for it use this week as a kind of inactivity amnesty. Simply trade in your inactivity for something you miss doing or something you’ve been putting off.

It might be taking a long walk at the weekend, going horseriding, booking a badminton court, taking a yoga class or getting reaquainted with the gym. It doesn’t matter what your choice of activity is.

Just choose whatever makes you feel good. You don’t have to commit to doing it forever. Just use this as a one off, with the outside chance it might rekindle your fire for something you used to enjoy.

For extra credit…

If you’re serious about doing this can I share one tip? Write your chosen activity on your calendar for one day over the next week.

It’ll help you stay committed and prevent someone else – including future you – laying a claim on your time.

Then get out there and do your thing. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll get reaquainted with something you’ve really missed in your life 😉


I love hearing when someone does something different as a result of reading the blog. So if you’d like to share, I’d like to hear! Just shoot me an email on

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