I love how ideas spread, grow, and flourish. Here’s just one example of how this happened on our Eyes-Free Fitness list. One of our members, Mary, posted the following scenario:
“I’m still in an exercise slump. Maybe I’m looking for motivation in all the wrong places. I haven’t found it yet. I’ve tried being mean to myself, being nice to myself, all kinds of tricks. None of them has worked so far.
“Reminds me of an old office joke. “We will continue with the nonstop meeting until we figure out why nobody is getting any work done around here.” Except that I’m running the meeting and I’m also all the attendees. We go around the room, and each of us has a wonderful, iron-clad excuse for not exercising. We go around and try to one-up each other, each telling a better whopper than the last. We’re all having a fine old time, but the workout is not getting done.
“Anybody else ever had a similar experience? If there was a five dollar fine for whining, I would have long ago gone broke having to pay myself for all that complaining.
“I’m tired of this. Think I’ll go jump on the rebounder for a few minutes.”
Mel responded with the following:
“Believe it or not, you are not alone. I am in a slump myself. I have not exercised in several days. I feel like my excuses are really great ones. upon a closer look though. I realize that they are still just excuses. let me ask you this, if you were to be paid every day for exercising, would you do it? if you knew absolutely, for a fact, that your life would be better if not longer, would you do it? what about this, how much money do you spend on prescription medications? exercise is completely free and it delivers higher and greater results than many prescription medications. well, maybe not completely free. Smile. it can be completely free though. You don't really need to spend any money on it at all. this day is not over. I still plan to exercise before I go to bed. I know for a fact I will exercise tomorrow. exercising is one of those crazy things. The more you do it, the more you want to do it. The less you do it, the more you want to not do it. Smile
Tomorrow is a new day.”
It’s funny how sometimes, another’s words can provide the springboard we need to figure things out and move forward. Mary shared some excellent insights about what is going on with her. And having discovered them, she is able to move forward. She writes:
“After my short workout yesterday, ten minutes of bouncing and a few weight exercises, I went back to the meeting of all my excuse-making selves, and we had an honest discussion. I realized that self-blame was not working any better than the excuses had, no matter how much time I spent on it. Amazing how we all continue to indulge in this painful and useless activity.
“Here’s the analysis, done by committee. I had planned to do 30 minutes of cardio and supplement it with other exercises. The plan was to do this five times a week at least. What actually happened was that I did approximately 30 minutes of cardio but skipped the other exercises. I worked with a Leslie Sansone routine that I have and the Gentle Workout cardio. The Level 1 cardio is still a bit intimidating to me. I can’t do the jumping jacks unless I modify them out of existence, reducing both the leg and arm movements. Some of the other exercises are also a little beyond me, and the routine is quite complex. So Level 1 is a bit too difficult still, but the Gentle is too familiar and too easy. Rebounding is still not aerobic. I either exercise too gently or too vigorously for that, but can’t find a happy medium. It’s fun, though, and quite good for my balance and my legs.
“So in cardio, I’m not a bad or lazy person. I’m just stuck at a plateau. I am hoping that acknowledging this will help me overcome the problem.
“So I plan to take a bit of emphasis off cardio and do more weights, just as Mel suggests. I have the chair yoga and chair pilates I can do, and I also plan to learn the stability ball exercises. I have a whole series of floor exercises for my back and the hip I broke 20 years ago, exercises that I am supposed to be doing for the rest of my life if I don’t want hip and back pain.
“So if I give myself permission to back off the cardio a little, maybe I can get my rear back in gear.
“So if you are stuck and can’t seem to get motivated, don’t blame yourself. Maybe the exercise routine you are trying to do is simply not meeting your needs. Maybe that routine works for someone else. Maybe someone suggested it to you, or maybe it’s the latest craze, all the rage. Maybe it works well for someone you love or admire. Maybe it even worked for you in the past. But it might not be right for you now.
“I hope this helps someone. I am sure I’m not alone.”
I know that the conversation between these two wise ladies helped me a great deal, and I hope it benefits our readers as well. We really are better together – when we collaborate, share ideas, and work toward a common goal.