Whether you’re new to fitness or you’ve been working out consistently for years, we share a common truth: Working out is hard. Some people give up or quit in the face of that kind of adversity, while others say, “Bring it on!” and make their exercise training session their bitch. Personally, I’ve always found myself to be up for a challenge. It isn’t because I long to punish myself or actually enjoy pain (far from it). In fact, at times even I don’t love exercising and have times when I have to struggle with getting it done. But I know excuses don’t bring resutls and do my best to get on with it.
It’s a fact that exercise is sometimes hard and uncomfortable, and anyone who says otherwise is lying or not working out hard enough! I know for many of you, there are a lot of other things you would prefer doing than work out each day. Some of you would much rather sleep in or relax on the couch with a bowl of ice cream watching TV. But the reason I stick with it is because I love how it makes me feel, how it energizes my body and mind and I know of all the endless health benefits that come as the reward for my efforts. I may not like the process all the time, but I love the proven results. Exercise makes me feel alive and now at the age of 57 years young.. I know without a doubt that excercise has kept me feeling young, aging well and most importantly, healthy!
Just as we feel a wide range of positive and negative emotions throughout our lives, our bodies also experience ups, downs, challenges and triumphs. When you go through a hard time in your life, you come out on the other side wiser and stronger. When you work out, your muscles and bones build strength and power and your body becomes wiser in its own way. I believe that only by facing difficulty can we ever truly appreciate all the good in life, or in other words, “the sweet is never as sweet without the sour.” If you could never feel emotional pain, would you be able to appreciate the greatest joys of your life? And if you never experienced physical challenge, would you recognize the joy of moving your body with ease or the feeling of accomplishment you get from conquering a new fitness goal?
Fact: Exercise can be a bitch and sticking to a exercise program is far from easy. But when you face that challenge, don’t make excuses and run away from it and don’t ignore the fact that it has to be done… and deciding to use the negative thinking and turn it into positive engergy you will find it’s way easier to get the tough job done. Use those defeting thoughts as a reminder that as difficult as that moment in time may be, it isn’t the hardest thing you’ll ever do. In fact, it will make all the harder times that much easier, and the good times even better.
I was listening to an athlete being interviewed yesterday while watching a reply of the Ironman Championships in Kona. When the athlete was asked about dealing with and managing pain….the athlete said that she broke the race into a series of small goals. Each portion of the race (the swim, the bike and the run) had hundreds of mini goals. For her, it was an easier way to manage pain, stress etc. throughout the long race. When I gave her insightful words some thought, it really made such sense and it’s that kind of thinking that we should apply in our own workouts and fitness goals. The athlete said if she looked at the entire race as a “whole” - the 2.4 mile swim, followed by a 112 mile bike, then a 26.2 mile run would seem an impossible task to take on and that it would be totally overwhelming for the body and especially the mind.
So it’s time change your thought process the next time you workout and see how much easier your workouts will be to manage!
Break up your workout into mini goals, you can apply this thinking to anything you are doing. A kickboxer or boxer should focus on each individual round and give his or her’s all in each round rather than thinking about the total sum of rounds ahead of them. The runner should break up their 8 mile training run into several mini goals. Point-A to B, Point-B to C and soon, a should the triathlete when it comes to swim, bike, run. When weight training, think about each excercise indivdually… while bench pressing don’t think about squatting. Finshing your bench work, enjoy the sense of accomplishment and then move onto the next challange. You can apply this process to any and all workouts and you will experience much better physical and mental results.
Does exercise make you feel alive? Have you learned to embrace the challenge of working out or are you still dreading it? Remember it’s duty for the future. Your future. As I always say, you can sweat and raise your heart-rate in the gym, on a run or bike ride, a kickboxing class, a yoga session or a boot camp workout ,in the swimming pool (whatever) or you can feel your heart pound in your chest and sweat even more while sitting in a doctor’s office waiting for your unfortunate test results.
The choice is yours. Make the smart choice to Get Fit, Eat Smart, Stay Well and Thrive!!!