Hell With a Smile — Yes, Working Out is Hard
I just finished a grueling run. Sweat dripping, blisters forming, lungs burning, legs on fire, totally wanting to quit. For four whole miles.
Yeah, I know, not what you were expecting, huh? Shouldn’t I be reserving the term “grueling” for those 20-something mile long runs that marathoners talk about? Or Navy Seal training? I guess it’s all in your perspective.
Everyone expects personal trainers to have all their shit together, health-wise. People really honestly think that working out feels good to me. Or that it isn’t painful, isn’t hard, isn’t something I have to talk myself into doing.
But here’s the truth: working out is hard effing work!! For me. For you. For that instagram star that makes workouts look like a poolside photoshoot. There’s no getting around the fact that improving your health, dropping body fat and gaining muscle takes hard work.
I can throw weights around and actually enjoy it. But running. Running is not really my thing. I remember being in high school PE class and my friend April making me go on runs with her. She pushed me in a super nice way and I did end up working my way up to a five mile run, which was epic for my overweight self. But I never got to a point where I liked it.
So can we please just all understand that working out is going to take effort, and it’s going to be painful at times (all the time?), and it won’t really feel good while you’re doing it. Let’s acknowledge that it’s so much easier to just sit on the couch and make up resolutions and goals from the safety of our stretchy yoga pants.
However, we can also agree that the results are worth the price. Good lifelong health, clothes that fit, blood pressure that doesn’t need prescription medication to control it, strength to lift our kiddos, lungs and legs that can hike the Grand Canyon. Oh hell, we wanna LOOK good too! Those are some pretty compelling reasons to want to put yourself through workout hell!
Steal my 4 tricks to help make working out as fun & easy as possible:
- Workout every day, even if it’s only for a couple minutes. Because what you do daily will become a habit, like brushing your teeth. Take away the question “should I workout today?” and you eliminate a reason to opt out of the workout. When something is automatic, you don’t have to rely on that flighty little thing called willpower to do it anymore. The answer is always “yes, I’m working out today.”
- Incorporate exercise you actually kinda enjoy. It may still be hard, but you do enjoy some aspects of it. For me, this is lifting weights and spin class. If I have some of that worked into my schedule then I can get through the other not-so-fun stuff knowing my time to shine is coming. Maybe for you it’s a pole class or a round of golf or prancercize. I don’t care what it is and if its the “perfect” workout your body needs. Just do what you enjoy.
- Develop a mindset of long-term gratification instead of short-term. If all I focused on was the short-term pain I felt while on my run, I would have quit within minutes. Instead, I focus on my long-term goals on a daily basis. Here’s how YOU can do that too. Where do you want to be health-wise in one month? 6 months? 6 years? What do you want to be able to do with your body that you can’t do now? Why does improving your health even matter to you? Answering those questions on paper and then re-reading your answers on a daily basis will help you shift your focus to the long-term. Now, stop reading right now, grab a piece of paper and write down your answers before you brush this off. Hey, stop reading!
- Turn on some really loud raunchy music and get movin’. When all else fails I just put on some really loud music and move my ass. Seriously. Sometimes it’s songs with motivational lyrics, sometimes it’s rap, sometimes it’s raunchy heavy metal, sometimes it’s dark, angry music. There’s a Pandora station for your tastes too. Find it. Listen to it. And just move. Get lost in the music and let your body move like it’s designed to do.
“You can run a mile. You can walk straight through hell with a smile.” The Script