I recently started going to the gym. I’m not a big fan of the gym, in fact, I would dare say that it is slightly above medieval torture on my scale of things I loathe. I have tried so many different ways to make the moments at the gym joyful – from classes, to workout mixes, to Bluetooth headphones, to quality sneakers, but the feeling of dread is always the same.
I do 45 minutes of cardio and for whatever reason, the first 20 minutes are the worst. I even allow myself a 5-minute warm-up… to me, I’m “cheating” those extra 5 minutes. Time oppressively slows down whenever I do something I find loathsome.
This maligned battle of time seems to also work in reciprocal shifts. The longer I procrastinate on doing what I need to do, the faster time flies. For example, on days I tell myself I will go to the gym, but just at a later time, I’m up at 7am and five minutes later it’s 3pm.
I have to just show the hell up and hit the 25-minute mark.
That’s all it really takes for me to make it because, at that point, I talk myself through the next 20 minutes. The elliptical conversation goes something like this:
- Minutes 0-5 – Ok, I’m just warming up, let me just go at a normal pace and it won’t be so bad.
- Minutes 6-18 – Dear God, let the shuffle in my iTunes pick the best songs ever so I can “dance.”
- Minutes 18-25 – Feel that sweat? You did that. Let it drip. YOU LOVE IT!
- Minutes 25-30 – Only 5 minutes left and you got 30 minutes of cardio in. You can do it! You can survive anything for 5 minutes!
- Minutes 31-35 – Good momentum. The worst is over. Only 15 minutes to go!
- Minutes 36-40 – Pick up the pace! Shuffle songs to the highest BPM!
- Minutes 40-43 – Almost freaking done! Push HARD – you’ve come this far!
- Minutes 44-45 – I’m a damn champion.
I realized that in order to make it through the first 25 minutes, I first need to show up. Showing up is definitely the hardest part of any routine that we want to get into, but sometimes a little positive, accountable self-talk is necessary:
- Why am I doing this?
- Will it help me reach my goals?
- How do I feel when I have finished?
Our most precious commodity is our time, our moments, so how we spend each moment is crucial. We need to look at our lives globally: How can I live the best life? Use this guiding question to determine what activities are adding value to your life versus detracting from it.