I’ve finally gotten into a very solid workout routine, to the point where I don’t feel right if I don’t work out regularly. It’s a good feeling. The following kinds of people have inspired me, and they can inspire you when you don’t feel like doing that last rep.
1. You’re chiseled. Do I envy you? A little bit, probably ,but that’s my problem and not yours. Your dedication inspires me to push a little harder.
2. You’re obese and clearly haven’t exercised regularly in a long time, if ever. Bygones are bygones, and you can’t undo the past. You’re working to undo the future, and that’s great.
3. You clearly used to be a pretty good athlete but have been on a slow downhill slide for a while. You probably won’t be able to recapture your former glory, but again, you can’t undo the past. That doesn’t matter right now: you’re working to undo the future.
4. You’re a paunchy guy in your late thirties who is trying to get in shape. Hey, me too!
5. You’re in your fifties or sixties and have been sprinting nonstop on the treadmill for the last six hours.
6. You just did one rep, rested for five minutes, then did another rep, then moved to a different machine where you sat and stared at Facebook for ten minutes before doing a set of twelve of whatever. Can you do better? Absolutely? Should you do better? Almost certainly, but those two reps and that set of twelve are better than zero reps and a set of zero.
7. You’re one minute into your cardio workout and you look like you feel like you’re going to die. Maybe you’re pushing too hard. Maybe you’re trying something new. For whatever reason, you’ve denied the inner voices saying “why not just lay on the couch and write blog posts?” so that you can get healthier.
8. You’re watching TV while working out on a treadmill, elliptical, bike, or other cardio machine. Good job making the most of your leisure time!
9. You’re reading a book on a bike, treadmill, or elliptical. That’s pretty impressive.
10. You’re getting ready for work after a killer workout. I’ve spent years saying “no” to working out before work because I have too much to do or what have you. You’re showing us how to do it.
11. You just finished work and are getting ready for a killer workout before you go home. I know how tough this can be, and it’s super-hard to say “taking care of myself as an important part of taking care of my loved ones.
When you start to get discouraged, realize that your presence is probably an answer and an affront to someone else’s doubts. When you don’t feel like going to the gym or doing that next set, realize that you’re probably an inspiration and an example to a paunchy guy pushing middle age who is finally getting back in shape–or in shape for the first time.
Don’t want to do it for yourself? That’s fine. Do it for me, because your resilience makes me resilient.
Gyms can be loud, but you can shut out the noise and go to your happy place while you work out with a pair of Bose QC35 noise-cancelling headphones. Add a noise-cancelling boom mike, and you can get some writing done while you do cardio. Or grab Shai Linne’s “Lyrical Theology” albums and get a musical theology lesson while you’re pumping iron. Available on Amazon, iTunes, and with a subscription to Apple Music.