I recently read an article in which an up-and-coming Hollywood actress stated she wanted to punch people who like exercise in the face. I have to admit … I was a little taken aback. Almost even a little offended. I absolutely enjoy working out; I’d even go so far as to say that at this point in my life, exercise is my true love.
Have I always felt this way? No. I’ll be the first to admit that it was a bit of a struggle for me at first. There were times that I didn’t necessarily want to work out, I but knew I should. Eventually, as time went on, exercise became a part of my day – a part of my life. Once I started seeing the changes in not just the way my body looked, but the way that I felt, I was a goner. Head over heels with exercise. It was as much a part of my life as eating, sleeping and breathing.
For years, I have considered my gym time the highlight of my day. It doesn’t matter if I’m teaching a class, lifting weights, running, or trying out some other crazy workout (if I’ll like it is usually determined by the answer to the question “Is it hard?” – because when it comes to working out, I don’t like anything easy). There’s something about that “runner’s high” – the endorphin rush – that can turn a bad into a good one. I can think of few greater feelings than the exhaustion that comes from pushing yourself to the limit, and going beyond it. Rocking something you didn’t know you were capable of doing. Being covered in sweat. Anticipating muscle soreness the next day. And wanting to go back and do it again.
I may be a rare breed in the sense that there are few athletic pursuits I don’t enjoy. If you talk to my past trainers, they will tell you I only have two rules: The only time you’re allowed to call me a girl is when there is a ball involved … because I may be hardcore, but I throw like a girl; and it doesn’t matter how crazy of a workout you come up with, because as long as it’s challenging, I’ll do it (and probably love it).
That said, the key to liking – and even loving – exercise is to find something that you enjoy doing. Don’t think of it as a chore, or something you have to do, but instead an opportunity to become your best self, both physically and mentally. For me, exercise is absolutely the best therapy. On many occasions, my worst days have translated to my best workouts. It’s all a matter of how you think about it.