Tuesday, February 21, 2012
If you exercise for more than a couple of weeks, you begin to realize that "losing weight" is not the only reason you get up off of your butt and move it around a bit. I can admit that, while I have physical goals when I start a particular program, I work out to escape. I escape from stress, anxiety, frustration, and boredom. I escape from that diseased feeling I get when I lay around all day with my husband and kids on a Saturday. I escape from the dulled sensation from a lack of stimulation.
All basic knowledge of the physical benefits of exercise aside, it really is great to have an escape. An easily accesible escape that you can rely on at any moment in time to help you reconnect with yourself. Oh sure, I love sushi, chocolate, and basking in the sunlight... but those feelings are temporary compared to the longer positive effect of exercise.
Some people like to work out in groups, and others prefer to work out alone. I relish the thought of working out alone. It is my time to unload, unwind, recharge, cleanse negative energy, and push myself a little past my limits each time. Plus, I find great entertainment in kicking the pavement's butt. I really enjoy showing the treadmill who's boss. I love putting the fear of God into those free-weights. I like telling those 10 sets of Burpees that they are chumps. The only person I compete with is myself, and I LOVE it. Then afterwards I can tell myself I did a good job and give myself a giant hug by doing a little stretching or yoga.
But also, I work out because I just ate those dang Girl Scout cookies, or I really enjoyed that extra serving of spaghetti last night, or a really awesome Sister from church just brought me a treat and I devoured it in .5 seconds. I used to tell my spin class that I worked out so I could eat cookies, and that is half of the truth!
Most of the time I am a beast with my workouts, but sometimes they really badly kick my butt. I shake hands and say "that's okay, I'll get you good next time". I go ice my knees, take a long shower, and add a little peanut butter to my protein shake to "make my booboos better". I win far more than the exercise leperchaun does, and I deserve a medal for that!
Lastly, and probably mostly, I work out to get the crazy out of me. Kicking the pavement's butt or shadow boxing yourself into a panting mess is better than giving in to the temptation to verbally punch someone in the face, any day. My list of priorities always include spiritually uplifting things (think prayer, study, church attendance, good deeds), but my very own personal piece of the equation that is absolutely necessary to get the best answer is DESTROYING MY WORKOUT.