Monday, September 07, 2009

Today is the day I will go to the gym

I can talk about fitness or bikes or karate for hours. Similarly minded friends and I can discuss subtle differences in the 4-5 different ways we know to do squat exercises. And when it comes to sharing what I've read, I can usually tell you the two or three "schools of thought" on a subject and which I found worked best for myself. But there's one bit of advice I've never figured out how to share. How do you help motivate another person to start a fitness program?

My final motivation was a nightmare level of stress. A close friend spent months trying to encourage me to go to the gym. I agreed that I needed to exercise. I was fat and always tired. I wanted a change. But day after day I just never went to the gym. It finally took trouble at work. One moring I got to work and within an hour I ended up turning around and going home. I took a few days off. But instead of sitting at home I went to the YMCA; five times that first week, six times the next week.

Is it like that for everyone? Does it take a trip to the bottom, a scare from above, or some other 'near miss' to get us going?

Once started, exercise brings its own rewards. Endoprhines are there immediately. Increased energy comes in just days. A feeling of pride at the results on the scale are there in just weeks. Even just that first night's sleep, post-exercise, can be reason enough to go back to the gym.

Once underway, exercise programs get more complex. That's where knowing about different exercises, nutrition plans and such can be useful. But before that first trip to the gym, all the details can only serve to confuse. Or maybe they can work as seeds? Seeds that spring to goals and then grow into accomplishments.

Are you tired of being tired? Do you know you should be exercising, but don't? Do you have things you look forward to but always feel your body is holding you back? If so then here is my advice... don't think of reps and sets, don't think of lifestyle choices, nutrition changes or any of it. Just think," Today is the day I will go to the gym."

The journey is long. But it begins with a single step. Just go to the gym.


Doug said...

Did you get there?

I Dive At Night said...

The one I hope to motivate has not yet gone. He's on vacation instead.

I always get there.