In my eyes, exercise is an excellent tool for learning to be comfortable with uncomfortable, to know when and how to push ourselves, and to have something that we can get better at (and competence grows confidence). By extension the behaviors we learn in the sweaty, and sometimes smelly, gym can spill over to other areas of our lives, making us develop these areas too. To build up ourselves physically makes us mentally stronger, they go hand in hand, and this is something that we can take advantage of.
At times we are motivated, we understand the purpose of moving and we do so regularly. We have gotten the insight that to move sparks even more motivation (which is useful in general 😉 ). In this state it is easy to go for a run because it is in alignment with our current state. We are light in spirit. We have built up momentum and we are in a flow. At other times we become unmotivated, sedentary, down. We are heavy in spirit. It is difficult to move because we are at the opposite end of the spectrum where the easy choice is not to. We forget our physical needs and how it can serve us.
Sometimes we need to move to get out of a bad route, to get out of our heads and into our bodies. Sometimes to regain presence in the present demands that we challenge ourselves physically so that we have no other choice than to focus on our body that only can be and always is here and now. What that challenge looks like is of course different for each and everyone of us and also changes depending on what we are going through. 🙂 Moreover, to do something ’light’ when we are ’heavy’ is very difficult because it demands that we go against our own grain to change our frequency.
“(…) to do something ’light’ when we are ’heavy’ is very difficult because it demands that we go against our own grain to change our frequency.”
For me, the need to move is strong and well rooted. If it has passed, that for me is too many days, a funky feeling creeps up one me. I start drifting. A workout then helps me to refocus and it relaxes me afterwards. The sense of continuity is very important to me, it centers and grounds me, and tells me that ’I’m on the path, I’m moving forward’. 🙂
To commit to a habit that is not always pleasant and to engage in physical activity can be though. There are changes we have to make, things to give up, and we don’t always know what will come out of it exactly, if it will be a reward. Before we have stepped over the threshold we can’t see the benefits that come with it. This is why I think it is crucial to begin small. Better to begin small than not begin at all.
To get stronger, faster or more flexible we need to push ourselves, for a short while we need to do what we usually don’t. Additionally, we need to approach this wisely, make the process of growth sustainable so that we actually move ahead over time, continuously. To workout teaches us to seek the uncomfortable because that is what it takes to improve us, we endure and grow resilient, we go to the edge of our comfort zone and push it further. We learn to be OK with temporary pain to get long term rewards. We learn the benefits of struggle, to keep at it, to continue, to try again. We lower the threshold to do what we currently cannot, what we have yet to figure out how to, and so we change our outlook on the new and difficult. Begin, and you will figure it out.
“To workout teaches us to seek the uncomfortable because that is what it takes to improve (…). We learn to be OK with temporary pain to get long term rewards. “
What we should not forget is that as we keep pushing ourselves, advancing, we will continually feel weak. This is what we are supposed to feel. It is supposed to be difficult because we are constantly improving, raising our lowest level. What was once difficult is now easy, what once was our entire workout is now our warm up. Sometimes we need to throw a glance over our shoulder to see and appreciate where we come from.