In my house growing up, hate was a bad word. We just weren’t allowed to say it. We could never, ever say it about people. And hating things was not looked nicely upon either. I am momentarily lifting that rule, to talk about all the ways I hate working out:
- I hate working out in a group. I am constantly comparing myself to the person next to me. I can’t dictate the start and stop time. I feel like I need to wear my cuter workout gear, but then I’m seeing these people more than a few times a week, so I need to get more cute workout gear. It’s not my thing.
- I hate working out alone. There is no instructor keeping me motivated. I have no friends to be accountable to. I am constantly either pushing myself too hard or taking another “rest.” It’s exhausting.
- I hate doing the same thing over and over again. I feel like muscle memory kicks in and I’m no longer challenging myself. I get bored. I start going through my to-do list in my head. I reach a slump where I just don’t want to do it anymore.
- I hate trying new workouts. I never know what muscles are going to hurt. I don’t know if my workout gear is appropriate for whatever new thing I’m trying. I’m constantly contemplating how much I’ll sweat beforehand to determine whether I will need a towel. I’m always glancing sideways at the person next to me to make sure I’m doing whatever it is we’re doing correctly. It’s a mess.
- I hate going to the gym at the same time every day. I have to see the same people over and over again, and then the issue of not owning many cute workout clothes comes up again. I tend to use the same machines each time I go, since those are the ones that are open, and I just instantly start to develop a pattern. I even have my preferred parking space and tend to get super annoyed if it’s taken when I get there. Not the best way to start a day.
- I hate going to the gym at different times. I never know if it will be busy. I don’t want to wait for a machine, or hustle to get a spot for my yoga mat. I might see people I know. I might have to park at the north end of the lot, and be all turned around when I leave. Just ugh.
So here’s the deal. I really dislike working out (in case you couldn’t tell). I have friends who are in such good shape and love what they’re doing, and are devoted to certain classes at certain times (or even teaching those classes), but I am just not that kind of person. I workout because I need to—in order to feel healthy and to keep up with my kids—that’s it. I don’t want to spend any extra time at the gym. I don’t want to spend any extra money on membership fees or classes than I have to. My personality tends to lean toward “I’m not gonna do it at all” if someone gives me a schedule or a workout plan.
So how am I (slowly, very slowly) getting back in shape? Well it turns out I do just fine when my goal is simply to do something every day. And to be honest – one notion keeps me showing up to the gym. Are you ready? It is embarrassing. This gem came from watching the cinematic treasure San Andreas with Dwayne Johnson while I was nine months pregnant:
In case of a natural disaster (or zombie apocalypse), I need to be able to grab both of my girls and RUN.
Yep, this is my creed. You can steal it if you’d like. It is a tad ridiculous and over dramatic, which can be said of a lot of my declarations. I don’t know why I watched that movie while I was pregnant and emotional, but I did. And let’s not mention the fact that for some reason I am Dwayne Johnson in this scenario (for reference, I am not nearly as muscular and my teeth will never be that glittery white). Also note: there was no zombie apocalypse in the movie, I just added that for some more flavor.
After years of trying it all to see if something would stick – I have succumbed to the fact that I need to let myself do it my way. This means, some days I go to a barre class if the time works, and I feel like going. This means a yoga class whenever I feel that I need to slow my brain and my breathing down a bit. This means weights and running when I have 45 minutes to squeeze in a workout between conference calls. This means weekend bike rides with the kids any time we can make it work.
Who knows how long this is going to work for me, this mantra of mine. But for now, I’m going to keep plugging away and see if it sticks.