When I started writing this blog I was not an exerciser.  I did not run, heck I hardly even walked, there’s no way I was doing squats or lunges or… any of that crap.

Then I started rock climbing.  I liked climbing, it combines strength with balance and problem solving.  It was exercise but mostly it was something I did for fun (as opposed to squats, no one does squats for fun).  And then I had a friend who needed some motivation to exercise.  And I thought, ” I don’t really need to exercise, but I can help her out” so we agreed to work out for 45 minutes twice a week.

And then I started working out and I remembered how much I hated working out.  There was no way I was going to do 45 minutes.  I couldn’t, I didn’t have it in me.  I called her up and said “I can’t do 45 minutes, I don’t have it in me” so we modified the plan.  20 minutes four times a week.

I didn’t like it, but I agreed, after all I was helping a friend.

So here we are almost a year later.  She still is not exercising regularly (that’s right, I’m calling you out) and I work out for 40+ minutes four or more times a week.

Here’s the thing.  I still hate working out.  Everyday I start my work out and I get about 10 minutes into it and I hate it.  I hate my friend for having started this whole thing (the fact that it was my idea and that since she’s not actually doing I don’t really have to does not enter into it) I hate myself for agreeing to do it, I hate Jillian Michaels for making me do stupid squats.  But I push through and I do it because I know what comes next.

I finish working out and I’m tired, and I want to just lie down or sit and stare into space or engage in any number of completely unproductive activities.  And so I do.  And then when I get around to it I get up and have something to eat and eventually get on with my day.  (And I find that the more I workout the less and less time I need to be able to get on with my day.) And I spend the rest of the day being proud of myself.  Thinking that maybe I’m stronger than I thought.

And I am.

That’s the thing, that’s the real reason I workout.  It’s not the working out, I hate that.  It’s the fact that when I do I feel strong.  And when I do it all the time, I feel strong all the time.

(I also  really like the fact that my clothes fit better, and that when I shave my legs I can see muscles, and that my stomach isn’t as poochy as it was, and my biceps, I really like my biceps.)

Really, I think it’s a lot like doing the construction when we were doing the kitchen or like when I went back to school or when I did anything that I wasn’t sure that I could do.  I did it and suddenly I was amazing. I was a god.

I was strong.

Update: You may not apologize for not exercising “enough” (except for you Cheryl, you can) we all do what we can, Lisa doing crunches etc. that’s awesome!  Susan, I’ve been riding my bike lately and I love it too but I’m not very fast and I’m all about the flats (and downhills, downhills are fun) but I ride the train up the hill.  There’s no apologizing, I wrote what I did because that’s where I am now.  I wasn’t there a year ago and who knows where I’ll be next year.

7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Susan M
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 08:43:04

    Accomplishment is the best self esteem booster. You rock.

    I hate working out too. But I love riding my bike. I feel so much better everyday if I do. It feels great doing it, it feels great afterward. Of course it’s just a little beach cruiser and the entire earth is completely flat where I live, so it’s not much work. But it’s enough for me right now.

  2. LisAway
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 08:55:01

    I “work out” for about seven minutes six mornings a week. Does that count? I do one set of each of a few different stomach and arm exercises. It’s all I ever do (but some days I walk for an hour or two) but I still feel awesome that I do it. Even after reading that you are a thousand times awesomer than me. 🙂

  3. Melanie J
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 11:37:29

    I do what I can do and I’m working toward doing that plus a little bit more each session. But I’m good with it. I’m not trying to be Jillian Michaels, know what I’m saying?

  4. Kristina P.
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 13:16:12

    I found that I really like kickboxing. I don’t like a lot of boring repetitive stuff. Although, I do like the elliptical.

  5. cheryl
    Aug 18, 2010 @ 13:21:50

    No worries. I should apologize, but I’m not really going to because it’s plain to see that the person who needed this wasn’t me –it was you. Although, frankly, I REALLY need it (like 25 pounds need it), but you know what I mean. Plus, I had a non-sleeping-nursing baby, so that’s my excuse! Plus the whole public announcement! Plus the fact that I realized I need someone physically present with me doing it. I’m so needy!!
    Oh, well. 😉

  6. Flipflopmama
    Aug 19, 2010 @ 06:56:27

    You are strong! That’s really awesome that you’ve come so far. I felt like that after I ran my 5K. I felt like I could take on the world! Of course now I’m nursing my shin splints but it was worth it. I feel so great when I exercise too but haven’t all summer. I’m looking forward to starting up my routine again when school starts.

  7. Chris Jones
    Aug 20, 2010 @ 15:55:48

    Been working out for a year now. I’m stronger and faster, my clothes fit better, and I haven’t been sick since I can’t remember when.

    I haven’t lost any weight, but I’m down a pant size. And I eat pretty much whatever I like, which for a guy in his 40s is pretty okay.

    Madame Wonderland, you do look mahvelous. Really. It’s very noticeable.

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