What’s Holding You Back?

Jonna wondered what the neighbors would think. She says that kept her from getting outside and walking. Gratefully, it’s no longer something that is holding her back.

We all have a story of the thing that kept us from fitness. Looking back, it might feel silly now. Hopefully, we also have a story of what finally motivated us to start.

For months, Jonna had been listening to my podcast, Walking is Fitness, as she was getting ready in the morning or occasionally on her recumbent bike. Jonna listened every day, but not while she was walking. Jonna says she was reluctant to walk out the door “afraid a neighbor might watch me or something like that.”

Recently, Jonna was in Orlando and says her feet and legs were “feeling very old.” Additionally, weight that she had lost years ago was creeping back on. And, then on a random Thursday in April she gave it a try. She listened to that day’s episode of Walking is Fitness as she did a lap on her street. 

Jonna says after that first walk it was easier to do a second one, then a third, and so on. In fact, Jonna has made a fitness promise to walk every day at least one lap. She often does two or three. Every day she keeps that promise she adds another link to her growing fitness chain. That chain is now almost eight weeks long.

What are you reluctant to start? Maybe it’s walking. Maybe it’s something else. Sometimes it’s actually helpful to take a moment and answer the question, “What’s holding me back?” 

And, like Jonna, oftentimes taking that first step is the hardest. It feels risky, maybe even a little silly. But, also like Jonna, once you take it the steps that follow get easier.

What I love most about Jonna’s story is that she started small with the long-view in mind. She didn’t use those negative thoughts about how she was feeling and the extra weight to motivate her to try to change everything all at once. Her promise is simply a ten-minute walk every day. And, on those days when she can, she walks longer. 

There’s also value in counting the cost before starting something new. I pondered doing this podcast for a while before finally jumping in. Could I do a new episode every day for months and maybe years? I needed to feel confident before starting. That question held me back at first, but once I knew the answer it was the fear no one would listen that kept me from the starting line a bit longer.

Like Jonna, I had to take the long view. Results take time so I made a promise to myself that I would release a new episode every day for six months even if no one was listening. That way, my emotions wouldn’t dictate my actions.

If you have been thinking about making a new commitment to fitness, why not start today with a ten-minute walk. See how it feels. You can even take along the Walking is Fitness podcast. To make it fun, I record each episode as I’m walking so it feels like you have a walking buddy.

And, then after walking a few days, like Jonna did, why not make a fitness promise to walk every day. Think long-term and keep it simple, like a daily ten-minute walk. You can even use this free resource “Build Your 90 Day Fitness Chain” as a helpful guide.

And, one last thing…

I hope Jonna’s neighbors are watching her just like I hope your neighbors watch you. Most of us need a little extra motivation to get started, and sometimes all we need is seeing someone else who’s doing the very thing we should also be doing that gives us that extra nudge to get moving.

In other words, you can be that motivation someone else needs.


  1. I can so relate to Jonna! I had that same fear that I’d be watched by neighbours and I was quite heavy at the time I started. I’m on day 130 of walking outside for at least 10 minutes, every day for a year (inspired by your year commitment to walk 20,000 steps and post a photo on insta). I’m accountable on insta, always post a photo, and the people I know are following my walks now. I’ve also lost 26 pounds. I normally walk a lot longer, at least for 30 minutes a day but typically for an hour. And because it’s become a habit it actually feels good. When I get out there my legs just seem to want to go further even I set the time for shorter that day. Thanks so much for the podcast! I typically listen to 5-6 of them at a time now and go back and listen to my favourite ones when doubling up. It’s no longer a challenge to walk everyday 🥰

    • Hi Allison! There’s so much in this I love! But, the best part is how you are inspiring others now! I also love the fitness chain you are building. A one year commitment isn’t easy, but you’re doing it and others are watching and who knows how many will start moving more because of you!

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