Extreme Exercise

ej5kI made an admission a few posts back: I actually enjoy running. I also dismissed the idea that I would never be able to like exercise in the future. I clearly have changed my opinion on it. However, there’s one thing I’m very certain about: I will never enjoy extreme exercise.

I get it; some people not only love it, but thrive on it. They truly enjoy pushing themselves to new levels of fitness, strength, and speed. Heck, I understand wanting to get better and stronger; that’s what I’m doing with my running ad push ups. However, I don’t see myself doing two or three different workouts in a row in a single day. I don’t see myself wanting to really push so hard that I’m left a puddle of sweat afterward. That’s not enjoyable to me.

I enjoy the gains I’m realizing after working out. I enjoy the fitness it’s bringing me, and the ability to take a long hike through a new city’s trail system without effort. It was truly pleasurable and a reward of all the work I’ve been doing on my runs. But that’s about it. I run to be fit, not to prove anything to myself or to anyone else.

I am not, nor would I ever begrudge anyone who does engage in extreme exercise. It’s neat to watch, and I enjoy reading the new levels of fitness people reach. I’m forever motivated by these very same people whenever I think about skipping a run for no good reason. However, I don’t want to run so hard that my muscles want to explode, or do so many push ups that I can’t brush my teeth afterward.

I feel fortunate that I’ve found a workout routine that is working for me. It allows me to make gains, get fitter, and not feel hurt or broken afterward. That’s the key for me: a manageable amount of pain for gain. I am not lazy, but I’m not a fan of pain. I accept some soreness, but pain is out of the question. It’s not a badge of honor for me; it’s a matter of quality of life.

The bottom line is that everyone needs to find what works for them. Also, realize what is working for you may not be what’s best for someone else, and vice-versa. What I do and write about is all about my journey and helping others find theirs. If mine works; great! If not, I encourage you to find what does work and go with it!

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