The Secret to Working Out
“Your gym’s manager must really hate you,” my Dad said laughingly to me the other day. “You have been going to the gym and using their Cybex fitness equipment an average of four days a week for the past five years! How can they make any money from you?”
Yes, it is true, and no, I am not a highly disciplined person, nor am I a perfectionist. What is my secret? Well, essentially that IS my secret. My dogged consistency comes from the willingness to show up at the gym and engage in an “imperfect, mediocre workout.” In other words, I show up at the gym and see what happens.
So many people who squander their gym memberships, stop their treadmill routines, or quit their exercise classes are actually highly successful individuals. They multitask gracefully, achieve many goals, and run their households efficiently. They ambitiously embark on exercise routines that would leave me in the dust, AND they aim to complete these routines on a daily basis.
Well, guess what. Burnout inevitably sets in. The alarm rings at 5:00 AM on Day 17 of that Herculean workout and the mere thought of rendering such effort is exhausting. Rather than settle for an “inadequate” workout, the perfectionist decides it is better to forgo the whole endeavor. A new precedent is set, and the treadmill collects dust or the gym membership lapses.
So here’s a mind-bending concept that may help you overachieving individuals aiming to get back to the treadmill, running routine, or strength training: LET GO OF YOUR EGO.
It is your ego that deems a workout “good” or “bad.” In reality, one’s workout routine has no moral value. If you just show up at the gym, or just get astride that Arc Trainer, be willing to surrender to what your BODY is willing to do. Some days may start slow and gain momentum. Some days you may only last fifteen minutes. So what? Consistency matters more than one isolated exercise endeavor. Once you give yourself permission to be mediocre, you may end up “achieving” major goals!