Updated: Nov 18
This is a conversation I had with a friend the morning after Thanksgiving:
Me: We had a great morning workout yesterday, instead of an evening one, because it was Thanksgiving. I am truly a morning person.
Friend: I’m also a morning person. I could never work out like you do in the evening. If there are always morning classes, why don’t you do those instead?
Me: Because I want to work out with my group. Even though we are not in the same room, I still feel that I’m with them. The morning classes have different people.
Friend: But if you are a morning person, I don’t know how you can do that. I certainly couldn’t make that choice, and if I did, I would dread the evening class, hate it, resent it, and spend a lot of time in inner conflict before the class. So, how do you do it?
Me: I don’t have all those feelings that you do before the class. I don’t think or feel anything. It’s just part of life, like my morning cup of coffee.
I think she understood my analogy except that for her the morning cup of coffee is a pleasurable experience and exercise is not. Okay, so what is going on here? Why is she having all those negative feelings and I, on the other hand, don’t feel anything? There are all kinds of things to consider when choosing a fitness program: the philosophy behind it, the suitability of the trainer for you, etc. But really the first thing that happens is deciding with the instructor the amount of workouts per week. The important thing to do if you want some real success is to commit to those times. How many times have you heard someone say: I missed my Friday workout but at least I walked to and from work, and that’s better than nothing. The “that’s better than nothing” conviction doesn’t really cut it. Eventually, you can start missing more than once a week, ending up missing a week or weeks at a time, but at least walking to work is better than nothing. To make something a part of life, you have to create a habit.
Let me digress a moment here. Let’s talk about the motivating force behind engaging in a fitness activity. Many people do it because they want to beautify their body. That is their sole motivation. As far as I’m concerned, fitness, or becoming and staying fit, and improving day-by-day one’s fitness level is an end in itself. Beautifying the body, or looking good, is the plus, the added advantage, the bonus. For me, the true goal is developing or enhancing my degree of fitness and physical abilities. But I am going off on a tangent here. Think of working out like work. We work because that is how we live in this society. We just do it and hopefully, we have careers we love and not ones we hate. Or maybe, just maybe, the road to success (whatever it is for you) is reaching the stage where working out is not being questioned all the time, where it represents nothing more than your morning cup of coffee, where it becomes… just… like… breathing.
Thank you, Joyce, for your contribution to this article and be an example of discipline and consistency. Now that you’ve read this post and you could share you expeirnece and provide another point of view.