I hate it.
I’ve always hated it. Gym was akin to corporeal punishment when I was in school; I was the last one picked for everything and I was in terrible shape and I hated my teachers and I hated all the kids who could run laps around me (literally!). I would dread it and try to get out of it and maybe that attitude stuck, I don’t know.
But riding my bike was glorious! I would ride for hours at a time, winding up and down the neighborhoods, miles at a time, going further from home than I was allowed. I would imagine my feet turning on the pedals were actually turning the earth, and the faster I went, the faster the earth turned – and it really felt that way. I felt strong, powerful, graceful.
Left to my own devices, I’d ride my bike a million miles a day. After school every day, I’d do my homework then jump on my bike and ride til darkness fell. I felt so free.
And skating! I was a wiz on wheels; I could out-skate most of my friends for years.
But then I grew up and started having body issues and left exercise – in any form – in the dirt. I’ve gone years without so much as walking a block out of my daily routine (and my daily routine doesn’t include walking).
I love the way I feel when I exercise, though. I love feeling strong and in shape. I love feeling more alert. I love having more energy. I love the peace that fills me – I work out all my anger, and all that’s left is this quiet sort of peace. It’s wonderful.
But in the mornings, I lay in bed and fight this epic battle. Will I exercise today? No, I sigh. Why bother doing it today? I won’t do it tomorrow, and doing it just one day won’t really help me any. I don’t really want to do it today, anyway, so let’s just stay in bed. I could do it in the afternoon, but then I’d have to shower again, and I hate showering twice. I hate putting on my exercise clothes. I hate getting sweaty. I hate wearing my exercise shoes. I hate the way my feet and my knee and my shoulder ache after a workout.
But I know that the ache passes. The more I exercise, the better I feel – and the less I ache.
So what is this resistance? I want the effects of exercising – and not even the weight loss, because I don’t really care about that so much – but I don’t want to actually exercise? Is that it?
No, because when I think about it, I actually enjoy the actual act of exercise. I love the movement. I love the way my body works. I love the way it feels to move and move and move. I love testing my limit, going just a little bit further than I thought I could, pushing myself just a little bit harder than I’m comfortable. I love listening to music. I love the way it feels to have negative emotions bubble up, and I love the way it feels to cry, to sob, to shout and scream while I’m working out. I love the feeling of a cold shower after a hard hot workout. I love it. I love the way eating feels on a day that started with exercise – like I really need that food, instead of eating because, well, I eat.
I love exercising!
But I’m extremely, extremely, extremely resistant to it.
I think it’s because I view myself as someone who doesn’t exercise. I am someone for whom exercising sucks and is hard. I HATE exercising, in any form.
But I don’t hate it. I actually love most of it. And I need to rewrite the way I see myself, because I see myself as someone who hates it – but that’s old, that’s stale, that’s cached information. That’s not me anymore. The me that I am today, right now, in this moment – that me is who I am – and that me loves exercising.
I feel that resistance, and I’m going to exercise anyway. I’m going to remind myself that I love it, that it makes me feel so good and so alive, and I’m going to try doing it for a few days – just a few – and see how it feels.
Baby steps, one at a time.