Exorcising The Way You Think About Exercise?

by DavalosMcCormack on December 7, 2007

Exercise. We know we should “just do it” but for most of us it just isn’t part of our normal routine. It’s been foreign to our way of life ever since we could turn on the faucet rather than hiking to the river to lug home a bucket of water for the cooking and washing. Now that we don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn and walk miles ’til dusk looking for something to hunt, shoot, and eat for our tribe or family we have gotten just a little complacent.

Why? Because now we have plumbing, grocery stores, and machines that make life soo much easier! And make us sooooo much chubbier because we don’t have to use our bodies anymore. In fact now, we actually have to “schedule in” exercise! Ain’t life grand?

Is it any wonder we end up asking the eternal question “do these pants make me look fat!” Right. We need to get some exercise! Unlike the days of old when just getting water meant walking, lifting and carrying, we have to plan, schedule, and actually move our body on purpose.

So what happens? Every movement becomes proof of exercise, just like my mom used to say when we were burdened with a nasty situation, “Offer it up to God” that was one way to get through it and still get credit in the heavenly record. It’s the same with exercise, we try to get credit on our “physical dance card” by labeling every physical effort – exercise!

I have a girl friend who thinks a 2 block walk is a lot of exercise and she often says, “That’s my exercise for today!” How about you? How do you think about exercise? Just take a moment to consider the word – “exercise” – think about it. Now notice how it makes you feel. Does any emotion come up, any thoughts enter your mind. Perhaps a little tiny feeling of dread, or guilt or do you experience happiness?

Okay, consider the word “play”. What comes up for you now? Do you remember going over to the neighbors house, ringing the bell and asking, “Can Jay come out and play?” Running and jumping, building forts and running some more!

Why can’t exercise be more like play? It’s because we think of it as work not play!

Here’s how I changed my mind about exercise. When I first decided to make exercise part of my daily life. Well, let’s be real, I didn’t actually think it would be part of my “daily” life, it was just that I was going to do it “that” day and maybe “some” days to follow. That was 7 years ago – yeah, right, for 7 years I have been exercising oh, maybe on average 5 days a week. Would you like to know why? I simply changed the way I think about it.

I used to think: “I’ll stay on the treadmill for 45 minutes and then I’ll lift weights for another 30 minutes and then I’ll be all done! And then it will be over. It will be boring and I’ll hate it but it will be over!”

I used to believe it was a chore to exercise, and if you think it’s a chore, it is a chore. It puts all kinds of restrictions on the act of exercise and it creates guilt if you don’t do it! It makes me dread it! I don’t know about you, but if someone says to me.”Okay, your gonna run, walk, eat, listen, stay put, for 45 minutes or ANY length of time and do it 5 times a week at the same time in the same way”, I can guarantee you that my legs would want to run far away in the opposite direction. (does that count as exercise?)

So I had to change my mind about exercise.

I couldn’t begin to exercise regularly till I could wrap my mind around the feelings and thoughts that the word exercise generated in my head.

I believe exercise starts in your head not your body.

Okay, now that may not be the way you think, but bear with me a second here. I have a very dear friend who changed my mind. I used to see him in the gym while I was on the treadmill. He would be like a bumble bee just flitting from the eliptical machine, to the weights, to the sit-up mat, then over to the pulleys. I had never seen anything like it. I watched as he literally “exercised” circles around me. He’s the guy that told me ”You don’t have to do 45 minutes all at one time, that’s boring! You can mix it up. Do a little of this, a little of that and the time goes by and before you know it you have had a full routine that doesn’t bore the heck out of you!”

Hear the Music? TA daaaa! Revelation! Hey that’s a lot more fun!

I still cringe when someone says, “You want to exercise?”…but I’ll tell you this, finding the activities you like to do, or cutting out the ones you really hate really changes the way you think about – Exercise!

Wanna Play?

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