Getting started!

Some people are really great at forcing themselves to do things they don’t want to do. I’m very jealous of those people. They find easy success at things like exercising, studying, and cleaning. People like me, however, find themselves out of breath while sorting through the detritus of their life in order to locate a lost textbook. This is nothing to be proud of. If discipline could be bought, I’d be first in line.

Every so often I convince myself that it’s time to adhere to a workout regimen. (See last week’s entries in this blog). Historically, these attempts have been utter failures. In college I was required to keep my weight down for rowing, and I managed that well enough because I felt accountable to my teammates and coach. But every other time I’ve gone on an exercise kick, it’s lasted a matter of weeks, maybe a month or two. I’ll start going to the gym, become a slave to the elliptical, go on long bike rides. It feels great at first. Then my discipline disappears amid the excuses. It’s too cold to run outside. I didn’t eat enough so I’ll be too weak. I ate too much so I’ll get cramps. My back hurts. I have shin splints. My hair is perfectly straightened and I don’t want to sweat all over it. Soon I’m back at square one: not exercising and wishing I was.

Yet there are some things that I do every single day without thinking twice. Here’s a few: eat. Sleep. Cook. Surf the Internet. Work. Play with my dog. If exercise was as painless and rewarding as those things, I would be in Lance Armstrong shape. So my quest right now is to make exercise fun. I’m lucky enough to have all the right tools in place: a human exercise buddy, a canine exercise buddy, gyms nearby, lots of winding roads and proximity to Piedmont Park for runs. With all of these at my disposal, working out should be a great time.

With that in mind, I’m starting small and setting some realistic exercise goals. There’s no way I’m going to become a gym rat, but I’ll look into spinning and kickboxing classes that I’ve enjoyed. And I just made a little investment: a GPS runner’s watch with a heart monitor! Armed with that sucker, my plan is to go for four 30-minute jogs per week. That should be a manageable start, especially for someone who can’t stand running. And hopefully, since I’ll be logging of the distance that I’m running, I’ll feel accomplished and encouraged to keep going.

The GPS watch will arrive Friday, but my new outlook starts tonight. I found a Groupon Now deal for a kickboxing class at the gym that I went to before I left Atlanta in 2009. Xavier and I are going and I know it’ll be fun because I’ve done it before! Right now, not kickboxing sounds great. Today was a long day at work and I haven’t eaten anything since potato latkes for breakfast. But I’m going to get off my ass and work out, because later tonight, I’ll be so happy I didn’t settle for another excuse. I’ll feel accomplished instead of lazy. And that’s how I’m going to try to motivate myself.

If you enjoy exercise, please share your secrets in the comments below.


3 thoughts on “Getting started!

  1. catae

    I have done this so many times I can tell you all about motivation and losing that motivation. I only know one person who always goes to the gym and I always tell her that she is the most disciplined person I know. Not just bc she goes to the gym @4:45 am every day!!! Basically we all go up and down in weight. It is HARD to stay in shape. Part of it is bc going to the gym sucks!! I started (again) last week. The results take a while and like every habit it takes 21 days to get used to it. Try to make small goals instead of changing everything at once. When u notice that eating better gives u more energy you will eat better. Having the work out buddy is ideal. Even if you do different things at the gym. I always say the hardest part of going to the gym is getting there. So just try to make it there. Even if you lie to yourself thinking u will only do 15 min in the elliptical. Once u are there u will do more 🙂 spinning and kickboxing are my fav classes! Try body pump-weights class! It is fun and it really works!

  2. catae

    Btw I wanted to b lazy yesterday and not go to spin but thanks to my new workout buddy I went. I felt great after the class. I'm glad that I went. Good luck!!

  3. Jenny

    I can totally relate this to. The hardest part about working out is actually walking into the gym. If you noticed in the past once yourE there, the workout is fun and your feel so good you went. I would suggest making a set schedule for working out ,at least twice a week. No matter how you feel , just go! like when you wake up and wanna skip class, just remind yourself how badly good you wanna feel and will . The results of working out are satisfying enough.:)


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