I was reading an article recently by a woman who is a self-proclaimed exercise nut. Since I often describe myself this way I was drawn to her post like an aging baby boomer to a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato. She was promising to show me the ‘lighter side’ of exercise motivation. Silly me. I was expecting humor. Alas, her sense of humor seemed to have been lost somewhere. Perhaps it wandered off on the way back from the gym. Check your milk cartons.
Better than a Double-Shot Caramel Macchiato
This does not mean her post was a waste of time, however. She turned out to have a very good point and one which we fitness nuts often miss. You see, we like exercising! I actually look forward to the solitude of getting up at 5 a.m., well before my family, and going to the gym. I enjoy the quiet camaraderie of other terminally fit people who would rather work out than sleep. And I love the morphine-like endorphin rush to start my day. Better than a double-shot Caramel Macchiato! Almost.
This enthusiastic mom had recently been at a garage sale where she found two hula hoops for 50 cents. Remembering the fun she’d had with one as a child she thought her 4-year-old daughter would love them. Had I been there, I could have joined with her in fond reminiscences of our respective childhoods. I could have complimented her on being a great parent and engaging with her daughter. Then I could have walked away laughing. I’ve raised two children. To paraphrase Sun Tzu, no plan no matter how well thought out will survive first contact with a four-year-old.
Again, Mommy. Again!
This well-intentioned but obviously delusionally optimistic mother spent the next half hour hula hooping while her daughter raced in circles around her screaming, “Again, Mommy. Again!” To be fair, her child probably got the enjoyment out of this exercise that she had hoped for if not in the way she anticipated. The neighbors were standing around in little groups, clearly fascinated by the crazy lady and her nuclear-powered daughter but trying not to make eye contact. Kids love an audience.
But what about mom? After 30 minutes of nostalgic hula hooping, she realized she’d worked up quite a sweat. She also realized she’d just had more fun exercising than she had since, well, ever.
For those who don’t enjoy exercise (what’s wrong with you?) but are determined to get or stay in shape anyway, there are other ways than joining the religiously committed at the gym or building a home gym to make The Rock jealous.
Look for ways to make exercise fun.
Need exercise motivation? It doesn't have to be a chore. Take your kids to the play park. Have a water gun fight. Walk five kilometers to the pub. Whatever gets you moving in a way where you’re having so much fun you don’t even notice how hard you’re breathing.
Yes, I know what some of you are thinking. That’s good exercise too but this is a PG-rated site.