There. I have said it. It’s out there. In spite of all my endomondo tracking, and end of workout smiles, and calories burnt, and physical exhaustion brought about, there are times when I absolutely do not want to go out and get my body moving. I don’t want to get out of breath. I don’t want to sweat. I don’t want to feel my muscles ache.
All I want to do is stay curled up on the sofa, under a blanket, watching Doctor Who reruns, drinking hot tea, and smiling that I am not outside.
And I know it is absolutely fine to feel that way. And I know it is absolutely fine to not go out and exercise every day. I know rest days are important. But I also know I can find reasons NOT to get out and move.
“My running gear is in the wash” this is quite a regular occurence while I am training for the marathon. I had to buy more stuff to let reason be slightly less valid, and me less stinky on runs.
“I have pain somewhere or other” Some are very valid. I sprained my ankle in December. It really did limit me. I had a groin pain the last few days, and have consciously eased up on running as a result. No point running and doing more damage. But when I don’t want to run, I do seem able to magnify twinges.
“It’s too windy and too rainy” Wind is an issue. I hate it. Especially when it’s horizontal and directly against me on every road I travel. Rain isn’t so much of an issue, it’s just wet.
“My phone isn’t charged up” This is actually a thing! I need my apps and I need my music to make my run complete!
“I haven’t eaten enough/have eaten too recently” Being a novice runner, I sometimes get it wrong. My body can feel weak if I run, I can feel sick if I run too soon after eating.
“I just don’t want to” Plain, honest, simple. And perfectly fine.
But sometimes, not wanting to is not enough reason not to. And I have learned that for me, the benefits of exercising often outweigh all the reasons I can think of NOT to go.
Enjoyment is not just an in the moment sensation during the exercise session, but this seems to be something that has take me a long long time to grasp. Enjoyment might not happen while I run. Especially the longer runs (like today is meant to be 14 miles, hells bells) that are exhausting and relentless. I find them hard. Very hard.
But then I finish those runs. Then I feel that sense of relief and euphoria. My muscles ache, my body hot and cold in only the way it can be during a winter run. It is then that I enjoy the feeling that exercise has provided. Satisfaction, accomplishment, amazement at my own achievements. Impressed at my own goals reached and surpassed as the time has gone on. Wonder at how my body is changing, and how muscles are increasing, and my endurance improving. I’m still a way to go on speed, but I am covering the distance.
In a live for the moment generation it can be easy to avoid the things we don’t want to do if they won’t bring us instant gratification. But for me, as time goes on, exercise becomes something I am less able to compromise on. The benefits outweigh all the reasons not to fat more often than not.
So, I better charge my phone, find some semi clean clothes and get moving, eventually, right after my food has gone down and I’ve had another cuppa. Though in honesty it might not be 14 miles today. The groin pain is still niggling, and so I will go as far as I feel safe to.