Monday, November 18, 2013

Self-Inflicted Torture

When I first met my husband's new boss and fellow employees at a dinner last spring, someone told me that the boss goes to the gym every single morning and works out for an hour before he goes in to work. My second thought about that was, That shows a lot of discipline. My first thought was, Man, that sounds like HELL.

Maybe it's because of my years of sleep deprivation, but there is almost nothing -- well, let me rephrase that -- there is no first-world habit that sounds more completely horrific to me than getting myself out of bed at 5am and driving to a gym to work out for an hour. There have been times in my life when just dragging myself out of bed at all would feel so torturous as to bring me to tears. To do so voluntarily . . . and to make myself go exercise immediately after . . . impossible. You may as well have asked me to cut off my own finger.

I've been trying to exercise at least a little every day this fall -- primarily, I've been running.  Okay, it's more a walk/jog, but I call it running to sound cool. My daughter's cross country adventure inspired me; with the good weather here, the safe neighborhood, and my open schedule, there's really no excuse for me not to do it.

But I still hate it. I learned about a week into it that I can't have a mental attitude that I'm going to push myself on my run -- you know, make myself run longer or further than I did last time. Then I end up hating and dreading it all so much, it's too easy to talk myself out of doing it altogether (I'm amazingly good at rationalizing -- that is, lying -- to myself). I have to give myself permission to run when I'm up to it and walk when I need to.  Otherwise, it would never happen at all.

But it's not just the actual running I hate. I hate dressing for it. I hate putting on my workout clothes first thing in the morning rather than real clothes . . . but I hate even more having to change into workout clothes later. I also hate being sweaty and gross for a while afterwards. And I hate having to take a shower when I'm done. If exercising was just about the 15-20 minutes I actually exercise, it might actually be tolerable.

Nah, I'd still hate it.

Sometimes, I wonder about Adam and Eve in the garden. Did they go jogging around Eden to keep their bodies strong and in shape? Maybe the work they had to do in the garden was enough exercise for their bodies. Actually, I have a different theory (one that many of you will poo-poo straight out, but that's okay). I don't think they needed exercise. Their bodies, before the fall, were perfect and uncorrupted. When sin entered the world and creation began to groan under the weight of it, human bodies were included in that groaning. Our physical deterioration is a result of sin, and therefore, so is our need to work so hard to fight the deterioration.

So, I blame Mother Eve. If it weren't for her, I wouldn't be sitting here in my sports bra, t-shirt and shorts trying desperately not to think about going out to run when I get back from dropping the eldest off at school. All for a stinkin' piece of fruit.

Now, if she'd done it for a Krispy Kreme donut, I'd understand.

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