Tip #9 Exercise Lack of Inertia
“Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing. You have to make the mind run the body. Never let the body tell the mind what to do. The body will always give up. It is always tired in the morning, noon, and night. But the body is never tired if the mind is not tired.”
– George S. Patton, U.S. Army General, 1912 Olympian
Not once, not even to this day, have I ever felt like exercising before a session. This has been the biggest obstacle to fitness for me. If I have an appointment with a trainer, am keeping an appointment with myself to train or if I am at a fitness class, up until the workout starts and even five minutes in, my mind and body are saying, don’t do this. Quit, get out of here, you don’t feel up to this, you need to rest, etc. Seriously, I always feel terrible right before I workout.
I know physically I am up to the workout. I know in five minutes, I will feel great. Better than great. In about an hour I will feel awesome, better than awesome. Now I use this knowledge to help me get over this ‘lack of inertia’ that has always colored exercise for me. I know that fit people don’t feel this way. I have spoken to many of them, asked them detailed questions and this is just another distinct difference between us and them. Some days they feel this way. They can tell us about how much they hate to workout on a rainy day or a tired morning, but in general they don’t feel this way anything approaching ALL THE TIME like I do.
Get used to the fact that you will always feel this way and find ways to work around it. Here are some tips:
- Put together a plan for your first event and keep it. See You Are Not A Fit Person for a detailed explanation of how to do this. It really is the first step in a new you and will make all of your future choices possible.
- Early on in your training, pay for appointments with personal trainers. Ideally have an appointment once a week, report to your trainer your other workouts that week, and report back on how many you kept. Also, get advice and help in exploring other fitness options that you may enjoy (rock climbing, cross country skiing, hiking, swimming, etc).
- If you can’t afford a personal trainer once a week, sign up for a boot camp, these things are awesome.
- Pay attention to your feelings of lack of inertia before a workout and how you feel mid workout. Remember how you felt like you couldn’t workout before and how good you feel. This will allow you to minimize your pre-workout feelings of dread and replace them with mid and after workout feelings of accomplishment. You really need to hold onto those feelings of success to keep you working out.
- Join fitness classes (masters swim class, rock climbing group, aerobics classes, etc). Meet the people there and get to know them. Some of them, depending on the group you are working out with are fit people. They will help keep you honest in working out. The more you get to know them the more likely you will be to keep working out there. Also, don’t try this until you are fit enough to be proud of your workout. Unless you have some confidence with your fitness you won’t be likely to make the right kind of friends at the session and you might not continue.
- Sign up for a clinic. Clinics are great ways to learn about fitness and again, be forced to keep attending.
Seriously, think about how much easier it would be to workout if you didn’t have to fight that feeling when you thought about working out. Sorry to say that that day may never come for you, but you can make it much easier in future. Be prepared for the negative feelings that may come over you before a workout and until you have replaced these feelings with the feeling of the success you will feel after the workout, you can make sure that you have other factors to keep your appointment with fitness.