The other night I was having dinner with a friend. At some point I mentioned that I was ready to get back into exercising but the logistics were a nightmare.
Should I join a gym? That would take a huge chunk out of my precious work day.
Should I buy a piece of equipment for the home? We all know those end up as clothes horses.
Should I get a buddy? Would they be reliable?
Should I go hiking? That was an hour of driving round trip plus the hike time itself.
Should I just take a walk each day? How would that ever lead to weight loss?
And what about the kids? Between working and taking care of the kids, there just wasn’t any time!
So my friend looks at me and says, “Those are all just excuses. If you wanted to exercise, you’d exercise.”
Maybe, I sulked, but they seemed like good excuses to me. We stopped talking about exercise because he didn’t seem to understand my difficulties. He wasn’t empathizing very well.
The next morning I woke up at 6am refreshed and feeling fantastic. I remembered what my friend had said the night before. If I really wanted to exercise, I’d exercise. I’d find a way.
So I decided to just do it. In a flash I put on my sweat pants, a tank top, and my hiking shoes. I found a holder for my keys, some Kleenex, and my iPhone. Stuck my headphones in there and made sure I could hear my music. I woke Kyle up and told him I was going jogging and not to be scared if he woke up later and didn’t see me in the house. He said in a groggy voice, “Fine fine, Mama, you go do that.”
I walked out of the house and within 30 seconds I was jogging. Me. Jogging. I haven’t jogged in about 12 years. I didn’t care whether it was a good idea or not. I just wanted to do it.
The little ego imp on my shoulder said, “You’re going to hurt yourself. You’ll twist an ankle. You’ll have a heart attack.” I said, “I don’t care. Still doing it.”
He said, “You’ll never be able to sustain this pace. You’re going to be done in 2 minutes.” I said, “Then I’ll walk until I catch my breath and start jogging again.”
He said, “You’re going to be sore tomorrow. Do you really want to deal with soreness for 2 days? Is it worth it for this little jog that isn’t going to do anything for you anyway?” I told him to shut his pie hole.
He shut it.
I kept jogging. After a couple of minutes I was breathless so I walked. When I caught my breath I started jogging again. I didn’t want to stop. I was having a blast. The music mysteriously kept pace with me. I was listening to Within Temptation and when there was a fast song, I was jogging, and when there was a ballad I was walking. I was totally in sync.
My left ankle and knee weren’t feeling too spiffy but I kept going. I was super cold, so I put my hands in my jacket pockets and kept going. The garbage men were keeping pace with me at one point. I was so self-conscious, but me and my jiggly butt kept going. I ran around the block twice. I don’t know what the distance was but I was out there for a good 20 minutes. I was thrilled with my success.
I ran inside the house, made breakfast for the kids and packed their lunches, then took a hot shower.
I emailed my friend and told him I had gone jogging. He was shocked. I told him I had thought about what he said the night before. No excuses. If you want to do it, you do it.
I was super sore the next couple of days. My friend said, “That just means it’s working and you did a good job. Embrace the soreness.” So I did. Ouch. Definitely going to stretch before jogging and stretch afterwards.
Now before I go to bed I put my workout clothes in the bathroom so that as soon as I’m done brushing my teeth in the morning I can put the clothes on and get out of the house within minutes. No excuses.
What I learned from this was that if you want to do something, you find a way to do it. Nothing will stop you.
Ask yourself right now what one thing would you like to do, be, or have, and see what excuses you come up with as to why you don’t have it. If you really want it, squash the excuses and get it done. Just decide that nothing is going to prevent you from getting what you want.
Nothing feels as good as stomping on the excuses and showing them who’s boss. It’s your life. Just do it!