Since this is supposed to be a blog about inspiration, let me say up front: I am not inspired to exercise. I once had a personal trainer who told me the more I exercised, the more I’d crave it. Um, no.
I was the kid in third grade who, given the choice between a book and a ball, would choose the book before I even read the title. Despite my awesome kickball and dodgeball skills, “playing outside” was anathema and gym class was a chore that could ruin the entire day. Why were they forcing me to get sweaty when there were so many books in the library that remained unread?
Of course, I’d later realize that they were forcing me to get sweaty so I wouldn’t get fat.
Yeah, like that worked.
I now know that all the exercise in the world as a child wouldn’t have made me Skinny Minnie. The cruel realization is, however, that I require regular exercise not to LOSE weight but to simply MAINTAIN it. That’s right: 40 years and one gastric bypass surgery later, and the sad truth is that if I don’t exercise 5 or 6 days a week, my weight goes back up no matter how little I eat.
So here we are—up and down the roller coaster, resigned to get back on the treadmill track. I walk and I dance, I kickbox and box, I lift weights and pull stretchy bands in every which way. I pant and I sweat. Sometimes I swear. Sometimes I mope sullenly and other times I glare at Maya, the trainer in the Wii My Fitness Coach program, because quite honestly it really pisses me off when she chastises me for not “showing up” the day before. Her waist is the size of a twig. On bad days I have to restrain myself from kicking her through the television. Oh, technology.
The next day I get to hobble, moan, and suffer the aches in my thighs, butt and shoulders.
And no, it’s not the “good kind” of pain. There is no good kind of pain. There is only tolerable and intolerable pain, but either way, it hurts. However, the pains I have now in the morning are preferable to the ones I had before because now I know they are pains that are making me stronger instead of the stiff, puffy, debilitating arthritis pains that were a signal of increasing weakness.
Because inspired or not, the fact is I function better when I exercise. Something I started doing simply so I could wear a smaller size and curb the reign of terror of my butt has turned into something I prefer to do because I’m less stiff, I sleep better, and my mind is a teeny bit more focused.
I exercise because it makes me better—not hotter or thinner or more graceful (ha! I won’t even go into the way my Wii fitness board basically laughs every time I try the balance test and I won’t attempt to make a list of the number of exercise-related calamities I’ve suffered—although two popped hips come to mind). It just makes me better than when I don’t exercise.
So I do it. I’m just not happy about it and definitely not inspired. But once it’s out of the way I feel satisfied with myself and can turn my attention to things I enjoy much more. I guess that means I’m inspired by finishing up my workouts.