Working out is my favorite thing to do. And the hardest thing I do.
Though it’s flattering to be perceived as an Energizer Bunny running with reckless abandon from workout to workout and crushing every single one, that is just not who I am. I often wonder how anyone could get that impression of me. Despite my passion for fitness, for working out, and for my own athleticism (or attempts at it), I find it really hard to show up and work out consistently. I get anxious about my physical weaknesses and dread feeling that I can't do what is asked of me or what I'm asking of myself. I often feel so challenged that I have to embrace some tiny bit of progress that no one else can see to avoid getting discouraged. So, in the hope of helping anyone that has ever felt unworthy of putting on sneakers, here is how I combat the internal trash-talk and make the workouts happen:
1. Precommitment. It’s much harder to bail when I know someone is expecting me. Making a plan, and making that plan known to another human, keeps me accountable. groupie makes this very easy.
2. Showing up. Once I’m there, it’s just easier to do the workout than to take a seat in the corner and regret not trying.
3. Setting a goal. My favorite ancient fitness proverb: do just one thing that would impress the person you were when you showed up (and don't get hurt). Easy enough.
4. Having fun. I believe that real progress requires leaving one’s comfort zone, but I relentlessly remind myself that not every workout must or even should exist in that uncomfortable space. Sometimes it’s actually good for me to enjoy an easy run to a great playlist, to pull back in a cycling class, to modify burpees, or to spend a good deal of a yoga class in child’s pose. Sometimes it feels good just to disconnect from everything, appreciate the effort, and maybe even end up having fun in the process.
Whether you are taking comfort in knowing that you’re not the only one that needs to talk yourself into a workout or making note of some helpful tips to get up and get moving, I hope you are planning your next workout. See you at the gym --