Friday, November 08, 2002

Exercise -- I Think I Can

Okay, I won't go on and on about it, but exercise sure gets you thinking like The Little Engine That Could. In fact, exercise has almost NOTHING to do with your body and EVERYTHING to do with your mind.

In the morning, I crawl out of bed around 5:00. I really don't want to exercise and can think of a few thousand reasons I shouldn't bother. But I tell myself to shut up, I get into my workout clothes (which if I've been smart I put out the night before next to the bed) and I go to the living room putting all the excuses aside. I put in a tape -- either Rodney Yee's AM YOGA or ABS YOGA, or if I'm really energetic a tape that combines weight lifting with aerobics from THE FIRM or an old vintage Jane Fonda tape w/step aerobics. I just do it.

I whine and complain in my head half the time while doing it. I groan. I yell at the teacher. I hate the women in it who look so damned good. I make up stories about how they always looked that good and they don't have to work and grunt and groan and sweat for it like me. I hate them. But I keep doing it. I notice how much my abs hurt when I do the abs exercises without breathing properly. I hate the lunges. The push-ups are extruciating. I wince when I do the gluts. It's NOT EASY. People who don't work out every day think people who work out every day have some magic recipe -- not really. It's always hard. We just know it's worth it.

Then I'm done and something weird happens ... actually it's been happening all along. I'm getting a rush of endorphins and I'm feeling really good. I'm also realizing that "Hell, if I can do this at 5:00am, some of the stuff I was worried about at work isn't such a big deal." And it clicks, working out is NOT about my body, it's about my attitude. When I'm done working out, I take away the following mental state, "If I can do this -- I can do anything."