Thinking about exercise

The way you think about exercise is important. The framing of it in your own mind can be the key to doing it, or not doing it.

Take yesterday. I was working from home.  For me, this means I don’t have to spend two and a half hours commuting, time I usually spend on doing life stuff.  Yesterday, this meant washing, ironing, cleaning, cooking and the like.  By 8.30am yesterday I had a sparkling bathroom, washing on the line, and my OH had some crisp shirts for the rest of the week.  After then doing my contractual duties to my employer, I sorted the Tesco shop, did a nursery run, emptied the bins, cooked the tea and washed up.

So when it got to 7pm last night, frankly, the last thing that I wanted to do was exercise.

Two things made me go. First of all, I had set myself a target for the week. If I hadn’t gone, I wouldn’t be letting down anyone but me.

Second, I decided it was my me time. All of the other stuff in the day was for someone else.  Bosses, trade unions reps, colleagues, family.  Exercise is when I get to be selfish.  Exercise is when I get a few moments to think about nothing but the sounds of the road, the next rotation of my bike wheel, my breath.

10K later, I was, as always, glad I had gone.

If you make exercise a chore in your mind, you will never appreciate it. You will never want to do it for its own sake. If you find your very own reason for doing it, reframe it from a must do to a want to do, it is ever easier to walk out the door

You got this.

I can see you, out of the corner of my eye. Wearing the baggy t-shirt and joggers and the bright white new trainers.  Looking like you aren’t really sure what you are doing here.  Trying to figure out how to work the machines.

You are new here, aren’t you?

I saw you having your induction the other day.

It’s a strange place isn’t it? Full of people drinking protein shakes and talking a foreign language full of terminology and wearing tiny gym clothes.  Then there are the big scary muscly guys grunting in the squat rack.  Not to mention the superfit skinny folks sprinting on the treadmill.  Then there’s the first time you walk into a class and everyone else has been going forever and knows the routines and each other.

It’s hard at first, isn’t it?

Do you know something? I used to be you. Not all that long ago.  I might look like I know what I am doing now.  I might have all the workout gear and the expensive trainers and I like to hang out in the weights zone.  But I used to be ever so slightly intimidated of the fit people and the machines that I didn’t know how to work.  I used to be the one wondering if anyone, maybe everyone, was looking at me and thinking that I shouldn’t be here.

So don’t give up. It won’t take you long to figure it all out. To stop feeling out of place.  I believe in you, if you believe in  yourself. You have taken the first, and probably most difficult step, by just walking through the door.

You’ve got this.