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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Why I do it: My top 10 list

Almost every morning before work I drag my sorry ass out of bed and make my way to the gym. I usually make it about 4 days a week, often finding 1 day of the week to allow myself the simple pleasure of sleeping past 6 a.m.

Most days it’s a struggle. The alarm starts blaring around 5:15 and I quickly fumble in the dark to silence it before it wakes my sleeping boyfriend (or my sleeping dog). I almost always allow myself a 5 minute snooze session. But I also usually spend that 5 minutes willing myself to get out of bed, thinking of reasons it’s worth emerging from the warmth of my bed at such a ridiculous hour. It's challenging, but I get through it.

There will always be days where I find those reasons to be far less compelling than the alternative. I will undoubtedly have times where I simply give in to my excuses and longing desire for an extra hour of sleep.

But most days, I do listen to those reasons.
  1. One of my best friends has already been awake for at least a half hour and is making her way from her home 20+ minutes away. I live 5 minutes from the gym and have no excuse.
  2. Said friend would be awfully lonely if I left her stranded on such short notice.
  3. Guilt.
  4. I may be struggling with losing that last 10–15 pounds, but I must at least maintain my weight.
  5. Guilt.
  6. I may not drink coffee but exercising is the energy that gets my day started. I am exhausted right now, and I’ll be exhausted in 20 minutes. But within 15 minutes of beginning my workout, I’m going to feel great. And when it’s over and I’m showered, I’m going to feel even better.
  7. Did I mention guilt? I can get myself to the gym but I somehow often lack the willpower when it comes to food. So if I’m going to eat those animal crackers before breakfast and eat that fudge bar after dinner, I’m at least going to try and stifle that guilt with the reassurance that I worked out today.
  8. I feel good today. There will be days when I’m sick or legitimately too tired to go. Don’t use your free pass on days that aren’t worth it—or you’ll feel guilty (again with that darn guilt!)!
  9. Habit. It’s become such a routine for me that I’m used to it that it feels weird if my day starts without it. 
  10. The compliments. The recognition from others. Call it superficial if you want, but remembering when someone said “You look really great” is incredible motivation for keeping up the hard work.
So there you have it—a few of the reasons that somehow motivate me to make my regular appearance at the gym before the sun even makes an appearance in the sky. Some reasons are probably better than others, but they are what they are. They work for me and I’m quite content with the routine I’ve come to master (most of the time). 

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