Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Something in My Head Goes BOOM

Inspiration That Will Help with Motivation

Exercise. It’s crucial to health—everyone knows this. Yet many, many people, even those who take great care with their diet, don’t do it. I’m one of them. It wasn't always like that, but that's the way it is now. I found something that provided some insight into my thinking about exercise, the thinking deep down that I'm not even consciously aware of.

RunningImage from Polyvore

An article yesterday at Whole9 included this bit:

You can do short–ish high intensity stuff sometimes, or long and hard stuff occasionally, or long, low intensity activity daily—but not daily high intensity training, or large volumes of moderate intensity training, or (god forbid) both. Unless you’re a professional athlete, of course, in which case you value performance over health. Most of us don’t fall into this category.1
[emphasis mine]

This made something go BOOM in my head. I’ve never been a professional athlete, but in my younger days I was a serious (and very good) one, involved in all kinds of school sports. Believe me, performance was no less important to me then than it is to the pros.

My BOOM realization was that this thinking has, to this day, a tremendous influence on my attitude toward exercise. For various reasons (some of them legitimate), I have not engaged in any exercise for many years. To a great extent, I think, the (until now) subconscious idea that my performance after all that time cannot match my performance at my younger peak has prevented me from even trying. If I can’t perform like I used to, right off the bat, then there’s no point in doing it at all.

Obviously, that’s not the right way to look at exercise. I’m not competing any longer, so the concern needs to be health, not performance. Sure, I’ll see performance improve over time—it has to, relative to my current non–exercising state. And there will be competition—I love sports too much not to play games from time to time as my conditioning gets better. But I can’t allow the fact that I’ll probably never be the athlete I was 30 years ago stop me from adding exercise to the enormously successful paleo nutrition I’ve adopted over the past few years.

So, thanks to my Paleostar e–friends, Melissa and Dallas, at Whole9Life for giving me that BOOM. It will be a whole lot easier to get back into exercising now that I have identified this roadblock. That identification has also put me in the right frame of mind to identify others.

P.S. The whole article is excellent, be sure to give it a read.

P.P.S. I’m not being entirely accurate when I say I never exercise. I started doing some regular walking this summer, specifically for exercise, but over the past three weeks or so I’ve all but stopped. The incessant rain has something to do with it, as does another major factor I'll be discussing in another article, but it is true that this is the first exercise I've done in a very long time.

Is there anything in your thinking that’s holding you back, whether with regard to exercise or anything else you need to do to improve your life? You’re not alone (I have many). Bring it up in the comments and we’ll talk it over.


1Clark, Dallas, and Melissa Clark. The Whole9 Health Equation. Whole9. Whole9Life, 19 Sept. 2011. Web. 19 Sept. 2011.


Karen Phelps said...

For  me, it was the realization that after I dropped the weight, I didn't enjoy typical exercise as much as I thought I did. If you had asked me when I was running and working out 4-5 times a week (and getting chubbier every year), I would've said I did it because I loved it and it made me feel good. Which would have been partially true, but now? I only exercise when I feel like it, not because of any fear about my growing butt or compulsive "I must be like this" thoughts.

I do one or two playground workouts a week. Maybe a trail jog, maybe a hike or mountain bike or kayak or lap swim. I try to make it to yoga at least once a week. It feels sustainable, manageable, and most of all, enjoyable.

It's amazing how often we do things and we think we know why. But sometimes we don't. :)

Michael P (@PizSez) said...

We definitely make some of our most pronounced progess when we realize an old mental habit is getting on the way, even when those thoughts aren't "wrong." Sometimes it's just recognizing that what's long since become automatic can be improved upon.

I would love to hear about your playground workouts. There's an enormous playground near me with lots of potential.

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