How to Love Your Workouts
Image Credit: Zepfanman
What would you think if I were to tell you that there was a way for you to love working out?
I know what you might be thinking. You might be remembering how terrible it feels when you try to run while you are gasping for breath, or how tough it can be to keep pushing when your muscles are screaming for mercy.
Who in their right mind would ever love this???
Everybody who gets into the right frame of mind can learn to love their workouts.
It’s only a matter of time, but you can get there. The secret to loving your workouts is to realize first and foremost that love is a verb. It is something that you do. As you do the actions of loving something, the feeling of love will eventually follow.
Let me share with you an excerpt from Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
At one seminar where I was speaking on the concept of proactivity, a man came up and said, “Stephen, I like what you are saying. But every situation is so different. Look at my marriage. I’m really worried. My wife and I just don’t have the same feelings for each other we used to have. I guess I just don’t love her anymore and she doesn’t love me. What can I do?”
“The feeling isn’t there anymore?” I asked.
“That’s right.” he reaffirmed. “And we have three children we’re really concerned about. What do you suggest?”
“Love her,” I replied.
“I told you, the feeling just isn’t there anymore.”
“You don’t understand. The feeling of love just isn’t there.”
“Then love her. If the feeling isn’t there, that’s a good reason to love her.”
“But how do you love when you don’t love?”
“My friend, love is a verb. Love — the feeling — is a fruit of love, the verb. So love her. Serve her. Sacrifice. Listen to her. Empathize. Appreciate. Affirm her. Are you willing to do that?”
I’m sure you’ve met people just like this in your life. I remember knowing just such a person once before.
He had been dating an amazing girl who was way out of his league in terms of looks and personality. Really, she was an amazing girl. They had talked about marriage, but I was shocked to hear him say one day that he was going to break up with her because he couldn’t feel love for her.
I knew he would never have a shot like this again in his lifetime, and he ended up settling with someone much more average later on… At the time, I felt like yelling, “Just love her, dammit!”
Just Love It
I’m sure you’ve seen people at the other end of the spectrum as well. People who somehow manage to love something that seems terrible. Maybe it’s someone who loves running marathons, or a person who loves math.
For me, it was the people I met in college who fell in love with chemistry — who in the world would ever love chemistry? But I noticed as some people learned more, they started to feel fascinated by watching some purple bubbles come out of the top of a test tube.
While it might sound like these kinds of people have a love for pain, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that people who love tough exercises are masochistic. No, the people who truly love to hurt themselves are the people who will never be found in a gym.
Just because they don’t feel immediate pain from another hour of TV or the junk they eat doesn’t mean that they aren’t hurting themselves in the end. They enjoy hurting their bodies with every bite of junk food they eat and every soda they drink.
And while it might seem strange, the fact is that you can love difficult things just by getting out and doing the act of loving them. It’s the action of getting into the gym and really pushing yourself hard — the simple act working out that really makes you love your workout.
What initially seems like a terrible pain can eventually become a source of strength and enjoyment. Every time you get into the gym and do one more rep, you are one rep closer to a workout you will love.
The feelings will follow the action. This feeling of love for exercise comes as your body naturally produces endorphins during your workout, and you get a natural high as a reward for your hard work.
So if you want to feel like you love working out, you only have one option: get out there and start loving it.