Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Working Out my Working Out Issues

Exercise is good for you blah blah blah 30 minutes of cardio 3 times a week blah blah blah strength training blah blah blah UGH.

Here's the truth- I. HATE. WORKING. OUT.
Seriously hate it. Yes. Hate IS a strong word and it accurately defines my relationship with working out.
What is "working out"? In my world, it's moving your body for the express purpose of improving physical and mental health vs. accomplishing a tangible immediate task.
Running? Working out.  Running away from a mugger? Tangible immediate task.
Walking? Working out. Walking around the farmer's market? Tangible immediate task
Pilates? Working out. Reaching that mixing bowl I inexplicably put on the top shelf? Tangible immediate task.
Yoga? Working out. Standing in line and ultimately not punching anyone at the DMV? Tangible immediate task.

In my 20+ years of trying to come to terms with my hatred of working out, I have discovered that people seem to fall into 1 of 3 categories when it comes to exercise-

Vivian Zink/Bravo Photo

1. There are people who LOVE exercise and working out. It may be challenging to find the time and it may push their limits, but they are blessed with "the runner's high" the endorphins. Or maybe there is something about the action itself that gives them comfort or peace.  Whatever.  They genuinely find joy in working out. I hate these people. Okay, in this case hate is too strong a word. I am very, very jealous of these people.

2. There are people who dislike the actual "working out" of working out- they find it unpleasant or boring. There are a million other things they would rather be doing. However once they do it, they feel good. They feel better after they work out. It ends up burning off stress or making them feel proud of the accomplishment. There is some tangible immediate reward for doing it and the fact that it makes them healthier is an added bonus. They may moan or groan, they may fall off the wagon sometimes, but ultimately working out proves to be a positive experience. I have strived to be this person.

Puppy shuns exercise. She is also not supposed to be on the couch.

3. Finally there are the people who just hate it. It does NOT feel good in the moment. It does NOT feel good during or immediately following. There are no endorphins. There is no stress burn. In fact, stress is manifested. Body aches during and after no matter how many different personal trainers are consulted or different exercise/work out activities are attempted. It doesn't get better even if they commit to it for months. It's hard to breathe. It hurts. It's boring. It sucks. These are my people. I am one of them.

In my continuing exploration of who I think I should be vs. who I am, I keep hoping to discover I am #2. Part of my frustration with exercise is that I think I SHOULD like it. I want to be The Girl who does Pilates. Or the Girl who runs 5Ks. And while there is no part of the act, during or immediately following, that I enjoy, I do have to acknowledge that when I am working-out in some fashion on a regular basis I look healthier and I like the way my clothes fit. I am able to do more physically for work and play. I get sick less and I sleep better.

So recently I have been thinking I need to just embrace #3. There are a lot of things in life I don't like that I do anyway because it's just what needs to happen. I hate cleaning the floors. I hate paying taxes. I hate dealing with the DMV. But these things that must be done because I don't want to live in filth, I don't want to go to jail, and I don't want to get a ticket.

January 2015, I am going to start slow. 30 minutes of walking or some kind of organized cardio (chasing 3 year old around house doesn't count) 3 days a week. But this time, I am going to try just being cranky about it. I am going to hate it. And I am going to be okay with that. A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

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