Many people have a hard time believing me when I say it, but the truth is, I love exercising. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing – running, cycling, lifting, teaching a class – but if I’m challenged, chances are I’m pretty happy.
I have written previously about exercise as therapy, and shared a great graphic on the 12 mental benefits of exercise. I’ve shared my personal story – and that I didn’t always love fitness the way I do today.
The fact is, we all go through ups and downs in our lives. We have bad days. Bad weeks. Heck, sometimes even bad years. I know I’m probably weird, but even on the good days, I often consider my workouts to be the best part of my day. More often than I care to admit, my workouts have been my therapy, and my classes my savior. There’s something about pushing yourself, knowing that you have complete control over just how much you can accomplish, that is hard to recreate in any other area of your life. And there really is a lot to be said for the effect of endorphins on our bodies. It’s truly addictive (why do you think I refer to running as my “gateway drug”).
I had a kind of funny conversation the other day about exercise, and not making it to the gym as much as you’d like (and trust me, in this person’s case, lack of time really is a valid excuse – he doesn’t have enough hours in the day to get a decent amount of sleep, let alone spend two hours in the gym). It’s amazing the difference you start to feel after a few days sans exercise. You’re less alert. You’re a little more stressed. Perhaps even a little more short-tempered. Maybe unmotivated, or just kind of blah. You don’t feel like you. And, quite frankly, you don’t like it.
I recently wrote a post about feeling kind of unmotivated – but trust me, this is a matter of getting out of a rut, and just needing something new to start seeing the results on my body I want to see. Though many people – I’m looking at you, resolutioners – have no problem just skipping a regularly-scheduled workout once or twice a week (though hopefully not every week), I could never see myself doing this. I still find myself struggling to say no on that rest day at the end of the week.
Why? Because it’s part of who I am. It’s what brings joy to my day, and what I love to share with those around me. And I’ve had more than one person recognize the way that my face lights up when I start to talk about fitness. It really is my passion – one I love to share with those around me, and I wish I could share more if the opportunity allowed.
That said … overall, I like to think I’m a pretty happy person. And as the picture at the top says, I’m just a happier person when I work out.