Recently, I ran out of motivation. I’d think, “okay, it’s time to work out,” and my emotional response was, “blech. I’d rather go to the dentist” (which is saying a lot, because I have serious dental anxiety.) One of the most important lessons I’ve learned during my adult exercising years is this: when I consistently don’t want to work out, not because I’m tired or busy, but just because I don’t wanna, it’s time for a change.
Recently, several things have happened: my neighborhood fitness classes became unavailable, my yoga studio closed, and my knees started aching. These things coupled with the heat meant I did all of my summer workouts in my game room in front of the tv. I have an extensive exercise video library, so I was able to mix it up quite a bit, but by August, the idea of pushing play and listening to a recorded trainer’s voice was a serious buzz-kill.
“I know this feeling,” I thought. It’s time for something different, but what? I missed the social aspect and camaraderie of live group classes, and I missed being outside. So, I looked into Camp Gladiator, tried a barre class, discovered something called “PaddleFit,” and bought a Groupon for a Pilates studio. I also got myself a brand new pair of running shoes. Even with achy knees, I can do a short run once a week; running is good for my spirit. With new things to explore, I am enjoying my workouts again and have no problem motivating myself to do them each day.
Just now I was lifting weights in my game room – my own routine with a new, kick-ass playlist my husband made, not with a video – when I thought about how this applies, not only to exercise, but to just about everything. I can feel the need for change, in my workout, in my personal life, in my career. It’s a restlessness, a boredom that comes over me, but I always resist it at first. I am a creature of habit, and I have this subconscious idea in my head that if something works for me now, it should always work. And, if I admit it isn’t working anymore, it is and was the wrong thing, and I am wrong.
When I write it out, it sounds ridiculous; it is ridiculous, but it’s truly why I am so adverse to change. And, it’s not an attitude that has served me well; in fact, it has been the cause of a lot of stress – my unwillingness to change even though I am miserable in my current situation. The thing is, the right thing today can be the wrong thing tomorrow or in different circumstances. We have to be willing to continually re-evaluate our choices and change what we are doing if it no longer works for us. It doesn’t mean we were necessarily wrong when we made the choice in the first place. It just means we are dynamic people, who need different things at various points in our lives, or, hell, even in our days.
I know some people run at change like a labrador to people (or dogs or toys or water – labradors love everything enthusiastically.) But if you’re like me and sometimes resist that change that you know you need, show yourself some love. Leave behind that job, that workout, that friend that no longer serves and find something that does.