Exercise Trickery

April 6th, 2011 | Posted by Alison Spath in Motivation

I woke up today with plenty of time to exercise before the husband left for work – but I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my bad self on this dark, cold and damp Wednesday morning.

I laid there for a while pondering my options. Head to the gym to run on the treadmill? (Again?) Head to the gym and just walk on the treadmill? (Again??) Run outside in the sunless, frigid air? (Again!!?)

I knew I was up for doing something, I just wanted something different. Swimming laps eventually came to mind, and at that moment, this idea actually sounded appealing. It had been a few weeks since I’d last been in the pool… a cardio work out that works my upper body for a change… a long, hot, uninterrupted post swim shower?


But when I arrived at the Y, now all comfy and toasty warm from a 10 minute, heat blasting car ride – the thought of getting cold and wet felt about as appealing as swimming laps in a pool filled with brown nut water.

(Dude. I should totally soak them in the pool! What a way to wrap this nut job up quickly!)

Instead of pulling a u-turn to head home, I pulled the old trick that I always fall for:

You only have to go for 5 minutes.

Really? Just 5 minutes and I can get out? OK, I’m in.

Of course, once I’m actually in and going (about 5 minutes later, conveniently enough) I have absolutely no problem going for another 25 – 30 minutes. And of course I know this is what’s going to happen. It’s the same story every time. Getting OUT of my clothes and INTO my suit and then into the pool is the hardest part – but that’s not what seems like the hard part at the time.

No, my walnut-sized brain is only thinking about cold water and flip turns and that time I grabbed Ava’s goggles by mistake and had to swim 1500 leaky yards in waterproof eye wear that were much too small for my nutshell of a head.

Still, totally convinced I was only going to swim for 5 minutes, I managed to get changed and into the water. The next thing I knew it was 40 minutes later and 1500 yards were behind me. And I was not at all thinking “I totally should have swam for just 5 minutes.” (I was thinking about that long, hot, interruption free shower!)

The moral of this exciting story? The next time you don’t want to run or ride or walk or underwater basket weave when the opportunity presents itself, just get up and get dressed and get out the door.

If you owe yourself a rest day, then by all means take a rest day. But if you know in your heart of hearts that you’re due for some heart pounding or sweat inducing activity: tell yourself you only have to get out there for 5 minutes and see what happens next.

And hey, even if you really only do go for 5 minutes, it’s still better than 0 minutes, right? You know I’m right! What have you got to lose with 5 measly minutes? Nothing. So suck it up and get there out for 5 minutes and be done with it.

(That last bit would be why I continue to fall for this trick time and time again, FYI.)

Black walnuts look like a brain for a reason, people.

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