If there’s one misconception that people have about me, it’s this concept of “easy.” It’s “easy” for me to just get up and work out. It’s easy for me to tear myself away from something important and engaging so that I can go exercise. Surely, it’s easy for me to get my tail in gear for all this running, right?
Y’all have no idea.
There are some days where, if I could watch, I’m almost certain I’d see an invisible hand carrying me – by my collar – off the couch, dropping me into my kicks and then lifting me, by my collar again, and throwing me off the front door.
In other words? Some days, I might go, but I don’t go without a fight. I go kicking and screaming.
But how do I get out the door anyway? Even when you don’t want to do it, what mechanisms do I use to do “it” anyway?
1) I have a few choice words with myself. Sometimes, those choice words sound an awful lot like “Look, if you don’t get your lazy ass up off your bed and into your kicks, I’m going to make you regret it.” (Sometimes, I use far more curse words than that. I’m the child of a Marine. I can’t help it.)
This is actually quite effective. Because we all know what happens when you skimp on the working out – it becomes that much harder the next time you try to get up to go do it, which then can result in losing the progress you’ve made thus far – we all know what would be done to make us “regret it.” Um… thanks, but no thanks.
2) I remind myself of my goals, and ask myself whether or not skipping the day’s workout will help me achieve my goals for that day. Everyone’s goals are different… but skipping a workout has ramifications that extend beyond actual fat loss. At least, for me, every time I skip, it becomes that much easier to skip… and can easily result in a week of “Nah, I’m good.” I’m like Hall and Oates to the foolishness, man. I can’t go for that.
3) I remind myself that my work out time is my time… my me time… and just like my family deserves my time, so do I. You know why today’s blog is so late? I went up to my daughter’s school at 7:30AM to 1) help the principal, 2) sit in on a parenting forum, 3) help develop the PTA’s first event for the school year, 4) help her teachers in her classroom do some menial tasks that needed to be taken care of for the new year, 5) meet with the principal and get his insight on the schedule for the school year, and finally head home to my puppies, who were clearly devoid of attention… as evidenced by my being pounced on once I walked through the door.
As much as I do for everyone, I’ll be damned if I don’t do even just a little bit for myself. If that little bit is yoga, then it’s my yoga practice. If it’s taking Kyli to the Kids’ Club so that I can get my lift on, so be it. If I have to get up a little early to grab the puppies and head out for a run, so be it. But seeing as how I take awfully good care of the ones I love, let me love myself and take care of me, too. (This, of course, means Ed has to do more work, but he does it… after some minor groaning.)
4) I compare how I feel now to how I feel after I’ve completed my workout. Tell the truth: I’m not the only person who feels a little more accomplished, walks with her head a little higher… back, a little straighter… chest, a little more puffed out after a workout in comparison to before. I feel like I could successfully leap a brownstone after a workout, instead of before, when I barely feel like I could tilt my head back far enough to see the top of one.
I think about how I feel after my workouts to how I feel now, sitting on the couch, and then I ask myself, “Don’t I want to feel better?” The answer is, most certainly, yes.
5) I don’t give myself the opportunity to rationalize why I shouldn’t go out. Usually, a “why am I even still sitting here?” will fly out of my mouth and, before I can even respond, I just get up. Sometimes, I even get a half-syllable out, but then I stop myself. If I’ve brought myself to the point where I know I could be working out right now… any answer to the question “so, why am I still sitting here?” is, more often than not, an excuse. And, really, excuses are tools of laziness, used to build monuments of people whose backsides are shaped like the couch they couldn’t lift themselves off of… and I’m not here for that.
Obviously, I’m being very tongue-in-cheek, here, but learning to work out regularly has been a challenge in commitment, and has taught me a lot about the term. You have to give when you don’t want to give. You have to shift and adapt when staying stagnant is most comfortable. You have to move even when it isn’t most advantageous to you and, most of all, you have to get up and do the work even when you feel like you don’t want to do it. You’re committed to your goal, right? Then commit to doing what it takes to get you there.
That being said… let me go unroll my yoga mat.