Do you remember the first time you drank beer? I do. I hated it. I couldn’t even understand why people would drink it. That shit was disgusting. I mean, why drink beer when there’s Zimas? PLUS, you can drop jolly ranchers in Zimas!! De. Lish.
Over time (and after a failed experiment using orange juice as mixer – which, by the way, is a TERRIBLE idea), I came to like beer. I came to appreciate its taste, but only after repeated exposure. You might say beer is an acquired taste for most people. (And yes, Captain Hardcore, I’m sure YOU’RE the exception, and you popped out of mommy’s womb craving a Budweiser.)
In this sense, fitness is a lot like beer. Now there are people who love to exert themselves and have always liked working out and being active. I am not one of these people. After a childhood of unsuccessful athletic pursuits, I spent my late teens and early twenties slowly coming to embrace the inherent value of movement. Movement became an important part of my life not only through time spent in the weight room, but also through intensive training in dance.
Yes, most of what I was doing in the gym was ineffectual. Yes, I mainly did it in the hopes that I could hang out with hot chicks. Regardless, the development of a positive relationship with my body, movement, and physical exertion changed my life. But it didn’t happen overnight.
People often resist working out because they “hate it.” Allow me to offer some tough love: if you hate it, you’re doing it wrong.
Now everyone has to find their own preferred modality. Maybe you love yoga. Maybe you like weight training. Maybe you like being a private dancer, a dancer for money, you’ll do what I want you to do. Whatever. All humans are profoundly better off with movement as a regular part of their life. But even when you find something that floats your boat, odds are you’re gonna suck in the beginning. And nothing is fun when you suck at it.
If you’ve been inactive your whole life, it’s not going to come easy at first. The first step is to accept this uncomfortable fact. It will require letting go of the ego. You will have to be willing to feel foolish and to be uncomfortable. Good! Success in any realm of human achievement requires this very same willingness. “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.” I will continually trace any success I have in life to the fact that I’m totally cool with looking like a jack ass. (Salmon hot pants jump kicks anyone?)
The second step is to educate yourself enough so that you can start to develop some proficiency in your chosen mode of movement fun. Maybe you read books. Maybe you hire a personal trainer. Maybe you go to the link below and sign up for a Health and Hotness Strategy Session. (I’m particularly partial to this last option.)
The third step in the equation is giving yourself the time to acquire the taste. Even when willing to be uncomfortable and working with a solid knowledge base, nothing of value comes easily or quickly. Your fitness flower will still need time to grow, regardless of your excellent choice of seed, fertilizer, and sassy pot.
What flower wouldn’t blossom in THIS pot?
So if you’re one of those people who thinks that “exercise just isn’t for you,” I would lovingly suggest that you are wrong. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to make it a regular part of your life. You probably won’t love it at first, but with the right attitude, the right support, and a little bit of patience, you’ll be kicking fitness ass in no time! I can’t wait to beam at you like a proud papa bear. (Mark gives you a reassuring kiss on the forehead.)