As I dragged myself to the gym this morning in my snow covered world I wonder why? Why do we do this to ourselves? Why am I dragging myself out of bed early, tired, not feeling great, to go make myself more tired and feeling even less great? It took me almost through my whole pre-workout to get an answer for myself.
I was working out alone today. Wednesdays are usually tough days and my workout crew and trainer Pat are usually there to push each other. Pat had to cancel, two of us were feeling blah, and another had another obligation. So it was just me. I’ll be honest, I considered not going and fibbing to myself that I would try and go later (never really happens). So there I was alone, me and the squat rack (was just going to run on the treadmill but I felt guilty ignoring the rack).
The rack and I have love hate relationship…we stared each other down as I stretched and contemplated sneaking back over to the treadmills, but the will of the rack was too strong. I wrote my workout on the wall, still wondering why I was here…tired and feeling yuck. I loaded the bars and prepared for my first super set of misery. Then a couple things happened 1) my pre-workout kicked in and 2) a new song I downloaded on my playlist started playing. I started to see why I was here. I was here for me. It was funny how those two little things flipped a switch in my brain.
I used to draw a lot of self-appreciation from other athletes around me, other gym rats giving me thumbs up for a good set or a new PR. But I was here for me. Don’t get me wrong those other things are needed and appreciated. The camaraderie is essential for me to reach new heights. But…training, whether its running, cycling, swimming or lifting is a very introspective time for me. It’s my time for my thoughts, my feelings, even my prayers.
So I guess my point here is the reason we do this crazy stuff, the early morning workouts, the bad weather workouts, the sacrifices we make nutritionally to achieve our goals should all be for ourselves. Yes, yes, yes there are ancillary benefits. You become healthier for your family, you become more focused in your thinking, problem solving, everyday managing of stuff. Your energy raises and I truly believe you level of happiness increases. That is the why.
Don’t do it for recognition, awards, the pat on the backs, high fives, or anything else. Those things may follow but should be the goal. I had it wrong for a long time and when I didn’t get the things I thought I was working for it was a very difficult mental wrestling match I contended with.
Getting fit and healthy is about our own journey to achieve the best us we can. Whatever that is. One good healthy day is one less unhealthy day.
Make today awesome!
Previously Fat Guy
“This body didn’t happen by accident.” – Scott B.