During any of my periods of fitness in my life – whether it be training for a distance race or getting thin for my wedding – Â I’ve never been able to fully embrace exercise.
(SIDENOTE: Exercise is one of those words I never EVER spell correctly. I always have to see the red squiggly line and correct it. But just then? In that paragraph above? ALL ME, BABY. I didn’t type exc- like I normally do. Next up? TUESDAY. Which I always type teu- on instinct.)
You always read all of these articles from people who are fit – especially people newly fit – who talk about how much better they feel when they exercise. More energy! Better moods! They get cranky on days they skip! But me? I never really felt any of that. I never had that extra energy. I usually was too busy dreading the next run/workout to enjoy any mood benefit. And on the days I skipped? PURE JOY.
This is what I refer to when I say I really DO hate exercise.
Now – on the other hand – when I did long runs? I did at least enjoy the weird quiet that occurred in my mind and allowed me to think about things I never had time to think about otherwise. The blog entries I’d write in my head on a run – always brilliant, of course.
But the other stuff? I just never felt that. I’ve been thinking about that this week as I’m back in a program. I’ve joined a 4-week boot camp for women that meets every day at 5:30am, M-F. It’s a little pricey for our budget, but since Donnie spent a chunk on his training/gear for the triathlon; we decided it was fair I could take a class or two to try to get back in shape.
I’ve done it for two days now and I remember why I hate working out: It makes me feel like ass. I mean – don’t get me wrong – I’m glad I’m doing it. I need some tone and some strength in areas long forgotten. But do I feel better in general? No. I’m hurting and I’m tired and I’m grumpy because I have to do it again tomorrow. This is why I tell people I’m inherently lazy – I think my body is actually happier when I’m sitting on my ass.
Therefore – this becomes all about the mental to me. I have to force myself to go because I know I should go. But in reality? No matter how long I’ve ever stuck to a workout program? I never feel better. I might be happy I lose weight or look better and that gives me motivation to stick with it. Â But the boost of energy people talk about when they exercise? I never get it. That dependence on exercise that develops? Well – I’ve stuck to programs for almost an entire year and never ever got to the point where I would be cranky to skip a day. Deep down? I just hate exercise.
So. I’m doing it. I don’t want to be. I hate it. But I’m doing it. I feel like crap. I’m worn out. I am craving Saturday when I finally get a day off. But I’m doing it. And I know even 4 weeks from now, I’ll still feel like crap. I’ll still have to force myself grumpily out of bed for class and if I find something else to do in 4-weeks I’ll have to grumpily do that, too. Because my body never seems to be happy when I’m fit. My body and mind prefer me to sit on my butt watching reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Well, that’s enough moaning. I have to leave for another class in 15 minutes. I KNOW THIS IS GOOD FOR ME. I just have to keep telling myself that over and over again. Because deep down inside? I always hate it. No matter what form the exercise takes (I’ve done them all) I hate it. I hate being stiff or sore or tired. I hate spending an hour doing something that makes me grumpy when I could be sitting on the couch watching last night’s NCIS: LA. (What?) But I do it. HORRIBLY GRUDGINGLY AND BITTERLY. Because I have weight to lose. I need to be stronger. It’s what everyone says a healthy person should do: Exercise. I want to be a good example for my kids. I want them not to hate it. So I go. And maybe feel a tiny bit proud when it’s all done.
A TINY BIT.