Grappling with “I don’t wanna”

As I sit to write this, it’s pitch black outside and snow or sleet has started to hit the windows at my office. It’s freezing, windy and nasty out there. It’s pushing on toward 6 o’clock and I’m waiting for my gym buddy.

She works in Albuquerque, and is going to phone me from Tijeras to let me know how the roads are looking where she lives—then we’ll make the call on whether or not to hit the gym together in Edgewood. For me, that means making a choice about whether to go to the gym alone if she decides she doesn’t want to be on the roads tonight.

Having a gym buddy is great, because, for me at least, it really helps to have someone else to answer to. It frustrates me that I still feel this way, because I think that I should be just as willing to keep a date I make with myself. But my aim is to change my lifestyle—not to judge myself—and if it helps me to have someone to hold me accountable, well, I’ll take all the help I can get.

As for this evening’s workout, I have excuses galore, right at my fingertips:

I don’t have my key.

Last week I was sick, and my lungs are still a bit wheezy.

I’m tired and ready to go home.

I haven’t eaten much today, and my supper is waiting for me.

I don’t wanna.

I still have work I need to do tonight, and the later I get home the later it will be before I’m finished.

Working out alone isn’t as much fun.

I don’t have a hair tie.

It’s just one workout, no biggie.

I still have a little cough. See “last week I was sick,” above.

I can go home and work out there. (File that one under “Yeah, Right.”)

It’s cold, and will be uncomfortable when I come outside and my head is sweaty.

Interestingly, the more excuses I try to come up with as I write, the more I think I should just go to the gym, with her or without her. The human mind is so fascinating: At this moment, I can’t tell if I am trying to convince myself, or you, the reader of this column. I am noticing that the more I focus on the excuses the more ridiculous they become. I think there is a valuable insight there somewhere.

The other thing I can say is something I already knew. The inner “I don’t wanna” is very strong! But here’s why it matters. Earlier today in passing conversation, I heard about a guy who lost a couple of toes to diabetes.

That is what I need to focus—I don’t want to be diabetic, or to die of a heart attack. I’m at risk for both if I don’t find a way to get a lot of exercise into my daily routine. Once or twice a week is not enough. A day off once or twice a week is my goal.

I’ll leave the epilogue on this column for tomorrow—when you will find out whether I lived up to my own expectations or not. Let’s hope I did.

* * *

Well, now it’s the next morning, and here’s how it went down last night: We made the call to skip the gym because the snow was coming down sideways and my daughter lives on South 14. Turns out, that was a good choice. Even my commute home, which is shorter and easier, was a nasty drive last night.

We decided that we would still hold each other accountable, by working out when we got home then contacting each other with photos of that workout.

So I got home and put my supper on a very slow simmer while I worked out—crazy dancing! Man it’s been a long time since I did any crazy dancing. (My speakers are still in the wrong room; don’t get me started).

Another surprise: My house is carpeted and I kicked up dust, and I coughed and coughed, even a few hours after my workout.

It was not a great workout. Yes, I picked up the weights but the coughing really took its toll. So I did my best, about half an hour of crazy dancing with weights and coughing. Let’s call the coughing a great ab workout.

In years past, I would have counted this as a failure. But today, I will log that in the victories column, because I took action to support my own health, however small. I beat the “I don’t wanna.” In retrospect, maybe that’s not such a small thing after all.

How do you overcome your own resistance to getting exercise? Contact me at 505-286-1212 or leota@lobo.net, or join the conversation in my Facebook group, “I’m Losing It!” I can’t wait to hear from you.