Today in my teenage angst I reflect on the gym.
The gym is a strange concept. It is essentially a place we go to be active because our lives don't include that naturally. Most of the rest of the world cannot survive on lethargy and inactivity; but for us, we fight to identify closely with a healthy lifestyle. Sitcoms often base an episode or five on it, mocking its extremes and exaggerating the unaccomplishable* goals it forces upon us. Lethargy is easier, tastier and more enjoyable. A heart attack isn't, but we won't know that for another thirty years. Another crueller? Yes please.
I skipped the gym today. My time yesterday and the day before had been more than profitable. I felt strong and accomplished; like I was reading Runners World for good reason. I even bonded a little with trainer Jaimie, whom I love and scorn at the same time. I have this whole philosophy of the different gym personalities and their purposes at the gym and how they influence your exercise experience, but that's not what this post is about.
When I woke up this morning all I wanted was to relax because I can. I'm meeting some friends for lunch and knew that if I went to the gym, my morning would be rushed and anxiety stirring. So I easily decided I wasn't going. My father woke up expecting me to go with him. He wasn't disappointed but it's an undeniable fact that going with someone is easier. As he stretched and anticipated his impending exercise, he groaned - as he does every time he stands ready to go to the gym - "It's going to hurt!" I commented on the consistency of this statement and he further explained that while it 'hurts so good' it seems like everyday you have to start over. This is basically true. While you're not actually starting over, until you've been consistently going to the gym for . . . . okay I don't actually know if there is a timeline on this, it feels like a year, everyday is going to feel like you've never been there before. I don't in the least dread exercising. I look forward to it. I love seeing myself get stronger and I don't loath the fact that my body isn't changing because I apparently refuse to change my diet. That's another issue. The reality is that exercise, in a society that does not require it for daily survival, is entirely psychological.
Every habit takes a set amount of time to form; to become something you must no longer consciously decide to do. While every habit is different, one that requires so much energy is undoubtedly going to take a lot longer. The point of this all is, is that until I'm willing to eat better and have been doing this for a lot longer, every time is going to be hard.
It just seems to me, the sooner I accept that, the sooner I'll get over it and run even though it hurts.