When people hear that I haven’t missed a daily workout in over 9 years, they assume that I love the gym, and that I love to workout.
Confession: often, this is not the case.
I can be just as lazy as anyone else.
I often find exercise — especially weightlifting — to be tedious and boring.
I tend to lose count after a certain number of reps. I get bored after 1 or 2 sets.
If I’m not on top of it, I can fall into inertia.
It’s important to note that I don’t lack motivation to exercise. I have plenty of reasons, or motives.
Aside from the physical and mental health reasons, I need exercise for my cognitive functioning and creativity.
Exercise at a certain intensity is crucial for me to feel like my brain is plugged in.
When I don’t get enough stimulus first thing in the morning, I feel like I’m walking around all day in a fog. It’s like my brain is a light bulb that’s on a low dimmer switch.
It’s hard to create coherent thoughts. I feel like I’m driving in a dense fog that doesn’t lift. I can’t really see where I’m going. I can’t make sentences. Even words are hard.
Even knowing this, sometimes it’s hard to generate the drive to go workout, especially at the intensity I need to plug in and generate energy for my day.
The hardest part is getting out the door.
In my early days, I tried all the well-worn tricks:
- leaving my bag by the door
- laying out my clothes the night before
- setting a timer
These all help, to some degree. But none of them will help with the hardest part:
Stepping across the threshold.
Even after 9 years, getting across the threshold is still the biggest challenge.
For this, there are no magic tricks or hacks.
The best way to do it is to focus only on the next step.
Not what the workout will be.
Not how long it might take.
Not how I might feel after. Or during.
Just the very next step.
One foot in front of the other. Until I’m out the door and on my way.