Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Why do you work out?

Kent and I were talking last night, just recapping our day, and I asked him how his workout that morning had been. Fine, he said. Well as fine as a workout can be.

I was curious about that, so I asked him if he enjoyed working out. Long story not so long, no he doesn't. What's more, he never has. He likes the results but dislikes doing the actual workout. I asked him if that were true when he trained and ran in a marathon. Yes, he said. He didn't like training for that either. He did it because he wanted to have run a marathon.

I have to say, if I didn't like working out, I wouldn't do it. I know myself. There are things that would be good for me to do (wash my face before I go to bed, for example) and I don't want to, so I don't. In the same way, while I know foods like spinach and kale are really good for me, those foods will never pass my lips. I do, however, like working out. I like the challenge, I like being able to do more, more effectively and (in the case of running) to do it faster.

What about you? If you work out, why do you do it? Do you enjoy the process itself, or are you more like Kent and only in it for the results? If you're only in it for the results, how do you stay motivated to do something you dislike doing? I'm really curious.

5 comments:

Harriet said...

This is excellent timing. I've been thinking about this a lot this week. I really don't like to work out. It's not that I object to exercise, but I'm not a fan of it for its own sake. I find it tedious (yoga excepted, but that's not enough of a work out by itself these days). But I need to do it. I've been getting up early to work out before work for about a month now and I don't like it, but I like how I feel afterwards. And I like being outside. Yesterday, for the first time, I actually wanted to get up and get out there. I consider that progress, even though today, I didn't feel the same way (in fairness, I have a nasty case of shin splints, so it was time for a day off). My sense of well-being and my scale are ultimately the motivating factors. i'm hoping it will start to feel more like a habit than a chore one of these days. But it doesn't yet.

lemming said...

Walking the dog is fun. Swimming on a hot day feels great. Beyond that, I am with Kent.

Kevin Pfeiler said...

I'm all over the board on this. Right now, my workouts consist of a constant rotation of laundry, dishes, and lifting children, but when I did workout, I would say I agree more with you. I enjoyed being able to lift more weight, or run a distance in less time. I'm ultra competitive like that. Getting myself to the gym was the hardest, once I was there, I was happy to be there. Once "getting there" became habit, I was good to go.

I do see Kent's point. I think if you like the results enough, that is the motivation to continue doing something you don't really like.

Jolo said...

I do it because it allows me to live a lifestyle where I can eat hot wings and drink wine every Friday night

Ben said...

Working out is always...work. Sounds obvious but many people forget it. I liken working out to my musical training over the years. If you don't practice something, you will never be able to do it and it will never be easier. In the past year I decided to do pull ups. When I started I could do one. ONE. But that was because I never did pull ups. I had to do pull ups to be able to do more pull ups. Now I can do 15 in a row. All this to say, I do like working out, I enjoy the results as well. But make no mistake, every time I go on a 5k run or do an interval class, it is work. It takes effort and energy every single time. It gets easier in some ways, but really, you just have to learn to like doing work.