Learning to love exercise is a lesson in overcoming pain

Why is it that so much that is “good for you” requires such doggone hard work?!

I have always hated the idea of exercise for the sake of it.  It just seemed so darn unproductive.  You see, I have this insatiable need to use every minute of every day, keeping myself busy, producing.  And exercise just seemed like it was a big hole.

Of course, that is preposterous, and the unexercised body is the unhappy body.  I was blessed in my youth with a high metabolism and a naturally athletic disposition.  I was active in sports until I graduated from college.  But after that, once working life began, I just stopped.

I continued to love doing sporty things, playing volleyball or tennis for instance, but couldn’t get my heart into exercise for the sake of it—and certainly not going to the gym.  All these people looking in the mirror—oh, the horror!

But a few years ago, as age began to take its toll on my body, I became unhappy with my body image.  I couldn’t fit into the slinky clothes that I depend on for my sanity.  I also didn’t have a lot of energy.  My work life was making everything worse—lot’s of wining and dining, lot’s time on the road, lot’s of flying, lot’s of jet lag.  It was punishing, and my wife started pinching my tits!  That was the last straw.

I realised that I couldn’t do what I was doing for work and keep it up without getting zen about my body, my fitness, and general wellness.  I was also really unhappy about losing control of my body.

It wasn’t that I decided to do something consciously, and if you would have told me where I would be today to myself of 5 years ago, I wouldn’t have believed you.  First off came finding friends and work colleagues who were thinking the same way.  Talking.  Hearing what they did.  Sharing.  This was motivating.  A problem shared is one diminished.

My S.O. is always on the leading edge of any wellness trend, so I also listened to what she was doing—and there isn’t a fad that comes along that she doesn’t try.  Grounding, pulling, supplements, yoga, etc.  I also began to run.  At the beginning, running 1k was tough for me.  It would put me out of breath, out of sorts.  I did calisthenics.  

But as I began, I also found community amongst those people who are up early and out on the streets, pushing their bodies, building their strength.  And seeing them was added motivation.  I also started doing “yoga” with online trainers, watching youtube videos and so on.  I wrote about some of my favourites here.  I still follow all of them, and do their workouts at least 3 times each week…and also for stretching every single night before going to bed.

And what is hard for me to imagine is how integral exercise has come to my life.  Today I ran 8k.  Yesterday, I rowed 10k on the machine.  The day before I ran 8k (timed perfectly to get away from my family).  I run on average 40-50k every single week, and continue to set distance and pace records for myself all the time.  And I have never felt better in my body than I do now.  I am stronger, more flexible, and feel happier in my skin than I have felt since I was a teenager.

And you know what?  Wearing hot little micro-shorts and a skimpy tank top is a real motivator for me.  And I am pushing the envelope, but nobody seems to mind.  Written about here.  And I realise that without this kind of workout gear, without being able to wear skimpy women’s outfits, I am not sure I would enjoy exercise as much or do it as often.  Hot pants and booty exercises just belong together!  

Looking good this way is a big part of wanting to do it in the first place.  And I know that most women and some men understand this—the importance of clothes to how we feel.  For me, its primordial.  Getting to wear clothes that make me feel good is a huge part of my life…and while I don’t usually wear clothes that are completely obviously not men’s…I find myself gradually permitting myself to wear skirts or blouses in a more public way.

And so I find myself thinking, if I can lose the weight, gain the flexibility and strength, but also do this in a way that does not compromise the basic feminine structure of my body, then anyone can.  I “bumped” into a Twitter Domme the other day who mainly makes a living motivating overweight and unhealthy men to get fit.  I love it.  She’s awesome, and her Twitter feed is filled with inspiration, and yup, you guessed it, tough love.  If you want to get fit, you need to find your way towards the self-motivating power of tough love.

I’m there, it’s changing my life.  Come and join me.

3 thoughts

  1. I LOVE exercise but this has been a journey for me. At one point , I was very overweight and had to really fight to come back from that. Now, you can’t keep me from exercise as it makes me feel amazing. It is part of my self-care and I’ll be honest…it makes me feel sexy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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