I have a love/hate relationship with working out – with staying healthy basically.
Walking and hiking definitely give me physical as well as soul benefits, but working out does not produce endorphins for me.
True believers (or work-out-ers) would probably say I am not working out enough, which is true considering that I am not working out at all lately.
I actually like moving my body and seeing it getting stronger, but I don’t like pain. I do almost anything to avoid pain, but I seem to spend a lot of time hanging out with pain.
Ironic, I know.
Really, it is because I hang out with motivation’s unhappy cousin, procrastination.
Actually procrastination is pretty chill. It just sits around, thinking about doing things, but never actually doing them.
Procrastination is a stoner that needs more sativa and less indica.
People who are jazzed to work out scare me, and annoy me. Yeah, I know I’m probably just jealous.
When I was growing up, Jack LaLanne, was the man, man.
On his 70th birthday, he towed 70 boats a mile upstream.
A mile upstream.
I was in my early 20’s and I couldn’t have towed a boat a foot downstream.
Jane Fonda and Richard Simmons were evolving into fitness gurus then.
I worked out at my local YMCA, working the Nautilus circuit and doing aerobics, but I was never super serious about exercise.
It wasn’t until my lower back started hurting in my late 30’s that I had to do something to function better. Pain pushed procrastination out of the way and I found the miracle of physical therapy and targeted exercise.
The first thing my PT asked me was if I had any children. (Yes, I thought, my child can be a pain, but that’s not why I’m here.) She told me that my abs were probably super weak from childbearing, making my back bear too much responsibility for hauling my ass around the world.
She said it nicer, but that was the upshot.
She gave me exercises to do every day, and she made me check in.
It was really hard to get into a routine because I always found a reason to delay, and my physical pain persisted. Finally, I realized that as soon as I woke up, I had to put my exercise mat down, and just start exercising. I had to begin before the voices in my head woke up.
And it worked!
For ten years I did those damn exercises every day with few exceptions.
Somehow I got lost a few years ago. The routine was boring, it wasn’t challenging me, but I have been in a rut that my mind helps foster. “You’re not in that kind of pain anymore. You’re good.” Says that voice. Except I feel the old pain creeping back in. “You walk or hike pretty much every day. You’re good.”
Or my favorite: “You deserve to take a break.”
I never question that voice because it’s so inviting. But like all siren calls in my life, it’s bullshit, and it leads nowhere good.
“Get off your ass,” says my militant voice, “- drop and give me twenty.” (I can usually do ten push-ups before my inner three-year-old starts whining.)
My entire work out is a battle of me telling myself how nice it would be to stop, and I think I finally agreed.
Every day is another chance to begin – and I just read an article that said even if exercise is broken up throughout the day, it still counts.
I have bundled exercise with another task, and that does help, but it still gives me too much wiggle room to give up early.
My PT also said “motion is lotion” for my joints – and like it or not, my body is aging, but I will never be as young as I am right now.
I read articles about 90 year-old marathoners (show offs), and 80 year-old weight-lifting women who are jacked! They are like honey badger – they don’t give a shit what their inner naysayer yells.
A body in motion tends to stay in motion, and a body at rest tends to stay at rest. The law of inertia.
Overcoming that inertia, besting that procrastination is my goal – but really – it’s not letting my inner three-year-old run the show.
© seekingsearchingmeaning (aka Hermionejh), Making A Way Blog, 2010 – current