Fitness: Turning off the excuse meter


I saw this in Michael Kesterton’s column in the Globe and Mail this morning:

From The Huffington Post:

  • “What you said in June: ‘It’s so nice out. I’m definitely going to start jogging every day. It was the cold weather that was holding me back before. Beach body, here I come!’ ”
  • “What you said in July: ‘Sweet Jesus it’s hot. I definitely can’t go running now. I’m not being lazy. It’s just a health hazard to run in temperatures above [28 C]. I have to be mindful of my health.’ ”
  • “What you’re saying now: ‘Okay, maybe jogging isn’t for me. I mean, I went that one time and it was really boring. If not for the excruciating cramps and the need to stop every minute to pretend to tie my shoe, I probably would have died of boredom. Maybe I’ll join a gym in the fall. Yeah. I’ll definitely do that.’ ”

That was me last year, and the year before that.

It’s why I grew two dress sizes.

My exercise regime was always weather-based. I played tennis some of the time, but much of the time, it rained or it was too hot. Every spring I committed myself to a walking regime. June was great, then came the July heat wave.

I found it very, very discouraging.

I come from an athletic family — Brother Bob still plays competitive lacrosse at 60 and Brother Gary is a marathon runner — but I did not get that gene. I hate exercise, for the most part, so any excuse would do. As a result, I got bigger and bigger.

By the time I started at the gymnasty in March, I could barely walk and I had tendonitis everywhere. My skin was dry and my face was puffy. I felt about 90 years old.

I knew if I didn’t start to exercise, I was going to get very sick and weak. I would become what a psychiatrist I know calls “one of the young elderly.”

Today, I am six months in and I feel great. I have no pain in my joints at all, my blood pressure is normal and my skin is clear.

Thanks to my gym membership, I have stopped relying on the weather, or maybe I should say I’ve stopped relying on the weather as an excuse.

This year in Ottawa, the weather was crappy all spring.  Without the gym, I would have found myself defeated and demoralized once again.

It’s coming up fall, then winter.

I don’t care.

I have turned the excuse meter off once and for all.

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