Yes, I Really Do Like To Exercise

If you spend any time around me, or follow me on social media, you know I like to exercise.
I am not quiet about it, because I love it so much.
But sometimes, people still don’t believe me.
Recently one of my friends asked me, somewhat incredulously, “so you really like to exercise?  Really?”
I grinned big and said, “yes. I really do.  I really, really do!”

I understand her disbelief.
Because it was’t too long ago that I thought anyone who enjoyed working out was either
a. crazy
b. lying
c. both.
I always wanted to like working out.
I really, really did.
But t no matter how I tried, it just wasn’t my thing.

Until Boot Camp.
Then something clicked.
Maybe it was because it was the first time I stuck with something long enough to make it a habit.
And by “stuck with it” I mean working out 6 days a week for a month.
Maybe it was because it was the first time I had ever worked out with the support of trainers to guide me, encourage and push me.
Or maybe it was because I had finally reached a place where I was ready to change my life.
I think it was really a combination of all those things.
And here I am, 2.5 years later, working out on my vacations, and missing Boot Camp terribly if I  don’t make to every class each week.

I’ve thought about the reasons I now love exercise like I love air and water.
Maybe you can relate to mine, and maybe you have others.
Or maybe these will inspire you to embrace fitness for a new reason you hadn’t thought of.

1. Exercise makes me feel good.
Until I began exercising regularly, I didn’t know the power of endorphins.
Besides making me feel better physically, endorphins make me feel better mentally and emotionally.
I go so far as to call exercise my therapy, and I believe it has been.
I wrote more about that here.

2. I like to have something that is just for me.
I’m a stay at home mom to 4 kids.
I also home school.
I am with my kids 7 days a week, and about 14-15 hours a day.
I am also a wife, and I run our household.
There are a lot of people and things who need me and need my time.
The hour I spend working out is precious time to me because I don’t have to think about anyone else.
I just focus on me, on my body, and my thoughts.
I struggled a long time to admit that I needed this kind of break.
And then I struggled with feeling guilty about it.
But now it has become an essential part of my life and well being, and I celebrate it.

3.  Its important for me to challenge myself to do new things
How many of us do the same thing every day?
We don’t vary much from our routine–get up, go to work or take the kids to school, run errands, come home, make dinner, watch tv, and go to bed.
But where is the passion and excitement in that?
Pursuing a fit life style has brought new challenges to my life, and helped me do things I never dreamt I could do.
That is such an amazing feeling!
Whether I’m pushing myself to do more burpees, run a faster mile, train for that 1/2 marathon, or make it to boot camp 6 days in one week, meeting that challenge leaves me feeling empowered and motivated.
Those are things I don’t want to let go of.
I wrote a little bit more about that feeling here.

4. I want to be fit so I can play with my kids
I never thought that being able to climb trees would be an outcome of regular exercise, but it has been.
Because I am in good physical condition, I can run with my kids, or chase after my wandering 3 year old.
I can lift them to branches out of reach so they can climb trees, and then I can climb after them myself.
I can carry them on my back when they hike gets too long for little legs.
I can scramble over rocks alongside them, or race down grassy hills, laughing and yelling like the biggest kid in the group.
Instead of sitting on the sidelines being a witness to their childhood adventures, I get to be an active participant.
That alone is worth every sore muscle, every early morning class, and even those dreaded burpees.
I share a bit more about this here.

So what pushes you to exercise?
What are your motivations?
If you are struggling in that area, I challenge you to think about it and make your own list.
Ask yourself why fitness is important to you and think about the good it has brought to your life.
And if you aren’t there yet, think about the good you’d like it to bring into your life.
Then go after those goals!
Give yourself a month to make it a habit, and before you know it, you’ll find you love it too.
Now keep on Living Fit!