, ,

I got this texted yesterday by my husband:

Sure, working out can be boring. It can be mindless, and repetitive. Have you seen that Planet Fitness ad, where the big dumb goon says “I lift things up and put them down,” over and over, like a big dumb goon? Ha, what a big dumb goon, right? What a mindless, repetitive, boring, lifestyle he has. He just lifts things up and puts them down. What an uncreative, inside-the box workout program he has, that big dumb goon. Just lifting, and putting down. Over and over again.


Did you think that this fitness thing would be easy? Are you under the impression that millions of years of evolutionary biology governing the physical adaptation of the human body in response to stress can be tailored to your preferred hobbies? Have you ever wondered why there aren’t a lot of Olympic athletes who train by walking around the block with Diane after supper? It’s because that is not a workout. A workout is something hard that involves pain. Pain that you willingly lap, lap, lap up out of the pain bowl, and then, tearfully, as your muscles quiver and your calluses rip off and blood runs from beneath your fingernails, ask, “More, please?” (The preceding sentence may contain inspirational exaggeration.) That is what a workout is. Did you think that you would get to choose what a workout is? That you are the boss here? The boss of your body? The boss of fitness? You?

Breaking news, friend: you are not the boss. If truth be told, you are the exact opposite of the boss. You are the servant. You serve the needs of your body. You don’t tell your body to be hardcore. Your body tells you what it needs in order to be hardcore. It needs workouts. Long, hard, painful workouts—for weeks, and months, and years. Purposeful, planned, powerful workouts, that are structured to place your body under the proper amounts of stress in order to achieve the desired adaptations. They’re not structured to be fun. They’re not structured to be relaxing. They’re not structured to fit into Diane’s after-dinner schedule because she needs to walk down the story anyhow to pick up a pint of Breyers. You don’t get to wildly inflate the bounds of what a “workout” is just because it’s more convenient for you. Workouts are not to be reinvented. Workouts are to reinvent you.

No, you don’t need to join a gym, or pay a personal trainer. But you do have to work out. You want to walk around the block with your kid, for your workout? Fine. You walk around the block wearing a weighted vest, carrying a backpack full of cement blocks, pushing a wheelbarrow holding your kid, who is holding another cement block. And then you do it again, and faster this time. This isn’t a stroll. This isn’t chit-chat time. This isn’t supposed to be easy. This is a workout. If it’s not work, it won’t work.

It gave me the inspiration I needed to go to the gym.