And somehow I love it?
I’ve been hinting at this blog post for the last week or so. I’ve been subtly talking about how, hey working out won’t always feel great and that in fact, it’ll be really hard to start. But now, I finally get to say it…
Working out sucks! And it doesn’t get better.
Okay, I’m not being completely honest here because I honestly love working out. I love it. But it’s not because I’ve always loved it. And I don’t love it every single day. I only love it because my brain has forced me to love it since it realizes it can’t get me to stop.
That’s a lot of confusing, contradicting points. Let’s break it apart.
If you’re new to the working out world, hello. Don’t take this post as a way to discourage you. Actually, I think you should let this post encourage you because you’ll be coming into the workout scene and I think you should at least get a real look at what you’re getting into.
Number one thing: Working out is hard.
It’s not supposed to be easy. You are making your body do work. You’re putting in effort, burning fuel, sweating. Your body is working so hard to regulate your temperature, get oxygen and blood everywhere, and manage all of your bodily functions
Taking it easy or thinking that one day it’ll just be a piece of cake isn’t realistic. The workout you’re doing today might be easy five years from now, but you won’t be doing that workout five years from now. As you get stronger, you change to a harder workout because that’s the way of things. There are easy days, recovery days, and then there are the rest.
It’s hard to get going.
It doesn’t get easier getting out of the house. Well, it kind of does. You start really looking forward to it and the after effects. Because of that, you get ready to go and eager to get outside. Sometimes even you’ll have a lot of fun and know that’s coming.
BUT the weather isn’t always nice. The day isn’t always easy. Lots of different things happen to discourage us. A lot of the times we just won’t want to. Totally fine. But we have to push through that.
This doesn’t change if you’ve worked out one day or one million. No one is special enough to avoid this. It does get easier because we form habits that have very obvious perks to them like sleeping better, feeling happier/more peaceful, physical fitness, etc.
It isn’t easy.
When we are working out, it isn’t easy. We are physically putting our body in a tough place. We sweat, we heat up, we feel discomfort, our muscles burn, we shake, blah, blah, blah. It isn’t easy.
If you’re just starting out, recognize that this is natural. Not every workout has to be 10/10 hard but working out requires effort and that’s hard. I love working out, but it’s never easy. It always requires some effort even if I’m doing an easy workout. No matter how long I workout in my lifetime, that’ll be the same.
All right, why am I telling you this? To discourage you? Nope. I want to encourage you. In our current culture there seems to be this idea that working out is easy. Or that it gets easy (not easier). We seem to be under the impression that it’s all physical.
And it isn’t.
If we’re coming to the scene ready to change our lifestyle and start working out with the impression that working out should be quick, easy, and eventually effortless when it doesn’t become that way, we think something is wrong with us and we stop. To me, that’s a big, avoidable problem.
It’s fixed with education.
Working out it isn’t. It isn’t even fun really and I say that as someone who loves to workout. We train our brain to accept what we’re doing. We train our brain to love the side effects of exercise.
Exercise is, after all, the reason why I love to work hard. But would I rather sleep? Yes. But I don’t because I know the feeling of accomplishment, hard work, and the promise of progress through effort and consistency is more alluring than anything else. That’s what I’m really after.
So yes, you can grow to love it. Somehow, I’ve even tricked myself into thinking I adore it…most days. But some days, I still hate doing it. I get through it, I push through that mental hurdle, and keep moving towards my goals.
Why? Because I remind myself that I am exercising my willpower as much as I am my muscles. If you didn’t know, willpower needs to be exercised and if we have a weak willpower muscle…working out will be a lot worse at first.
All right.So even if it is really hard for you, should you stop?
Stick to a reasonable workout routine. Give yourself an off day or two. Or an off day plus an easy day. Set reasonable expectations of your body and your mind. And keep going. Don’t give up because it’s hard. Someday you will enjoy what you’re doing, or you might not. But realize that you will enjoy the side effects either way.