Exercise Exorcism

In the movie Boiler Room, there’s a brilliant scene that comes to mind when I think about the concept of exercising. Basically, Giovanni Ribisi is sitting in his kitchen eating a bowl of cereal and the phone rings. He picks it up, and hears a timid newspaper salesperson on the other end trying to get him to sign up for one of the local newspapers. Here’s a youtube link, watch this before reading any further. Warning, there is some profanity…

So, I know that physical activity is important for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and I’ve tried many times to buy into that, but I have yet to find any personal physical benefit to myself from going to a gym and “working out”. I have never had that “rush” or that feeling of…whatever it is that people get. But I want to. I feel like I would just go into the gym, go through motions, and then leave. Go back the next time and do this that and the other thing, and then leave. Where is this miraculous rush? Am I missing something here?

I thought I was, so I decided to sign up for the “personal training” program at my gym. That was a bad idea, because I was misled to believe it was sessions with a personal trainer, but it’s just sessions in general that are with “any” trainer there. How is that personal? I’m supposed to document everything in this little book, and some random trainer is going to read it and automatically know what I’m supposed to do the next time I go there? I think not. When I want “personal” training, I want someone who knows me. Personally. Someone who actually can make recommendations, give me advice, feedback. I want someone I can trust who I know and am comfortable with. How do I know the advice they would be giving me is apropos to what I’m doing? How do I know it’s not just a preset regimen they give everyone?

Each time I’ve talked to people about exercising, they seem to imply that there’s this blind faith I’m supposed to have that it’ll just “work”. Well, like the clip above, if they want to close me they need to sell me on it. Each time I’ve gone I haven’t felt anything, not then or the day after. Maybe I worked with the wrong trainer? I don’t know. But I realize that in order for me to get to a place in my life where I’ll be a lot happier, it’s just something I have to do. I have to force myself to do it, kicking and screaming as I’d be. (Granted, I’ll be kicking and screaming mentally, I’ll keep that to myself while I’m there).

I don’t want to exercise because the time spent there is boring beyond belief. Walking while on a treadmill, or riding an exercise bike, so horribly boring. Lifting weights is at least mildly cool, but I’ve been told that I have to focus on cardio stuff for the stage I’m at. “Well if you don’t like those things you could always walk or jog” I hear that often. But, I tried jogging, in the spirit of being proactive. I wound up with shins splints for a week afterwards, so that put the kibosh on that so to speak. So much for being proactive!

As the title suggests, I need an “Exercise Exorcism”. I need the demons removed that are precluding me from having the a better mindset. I look at gym rats and scoff at their “motivational” attitudes, but I just need to start buying into it. This is clearly a case for “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”. The reality of it is simply this; I don’t do it because I don’t get anything out of it. I need some kind of proof that it’s working, some kind of result or indication, whatever form it comes in. Clearly, by the lifestyle I’m leading now I’m not in any position to beat anyone, and I’m just making myself lose more at this game they call “life”.

I might as well suck it up and join the other team, so I have a much better chance at winning.

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