The Trouble With Exercise
First of all, let me explain-I hate the word exercise. Early on when I first started personal training it was instilled in me that if you are not training for something you are exercising. And ever since then I have been avoiding “exercising.” To me, the term exercise implies going through a circuit type routine to get your heart rate up and to get moving. We all need exercise, and exercise is good for the body and the brain, it’s just that I don’t like wasting precious training time doing things I could be doing at home. If I am going to make the effort to get to the gym before work, during my lunch break or after work, then I had better be training my body for some.thing.
I have also been avoiding going to the gym on Mondays. Let me explain. Mondays used to be my favorite day at the gym-a day to kick things off, Day 1-Squat Day-, a way to start the week feeling strong, confident and positive about life in general. But after several months of Mondays I started dreading going to the gym on Mondays. For me it was not a good way to start the week. As an introvert who is hypersensitive to their environment and the emotions of those around them the negative energy I felt did more harm than good. The Monday stress caused me stress and anxiety and I walked away feeling unsettled, unconfident and confused more often than not. Even though the Monday schedule worked best for me-the environment did not. Switching my Day 1 workout to Tuesday has been a bit of a hassle scheduling wise, but it is worth it knowing I can start my week with positive energy that gives me confidence.
I am currently trying to get back into my running routine so that I can shave some time off of my 5K race time. So technically, I am training for speed. In a recent Runner’s World Article they cited that resistance training did indeed have a positive result on 5k performance times. The study specifically studied the effects of deadlifts, squats, lunges and calf raises. Lucky me- that just so happens to be what I have built into my program.
Rainy Days and Mondays
But yesterday was a Monday and I broke my own rule:
Stay away from the gym on Mondays.
I tried everything I could think of to schedule my week around a Monday session but I decided to give it one.more.chance. I gave my coach a heads up on Friday, and I walked in with a PMA. I decided to stay in the bathroom an extra minute after changing to make sure I was mentally ready for anything. I was prepared for everything except a tired body that was barely functioning after a very busy weekend, not enough food, and high humidity. I felt drained and could barely do pushups. And here is where Monday creeps in; instead of asking a question or two to see what was going on, when I shared how I was feeling it didn’t really seem to matter. I actually felt a bit incompetent -as if somehow I was not prepared nor willing to grind it out-because of the heat. Squats were about “keeping my hips moving” but since my knees had been bothering me I thought I would focus on making sure my shins were vertical at the bottom of my squats but I couldn’t look at my own shins while I was squatting so that didn’t work out so well, and I received no feedback whatsoever on my positioning.
Mondays are Hard
And at the end of the session when I shared that it felt “hard” instead of words of encouragement I got a comment about how it was not a “hard” workout.
It was hard for me on that particular day. A simple “How was your weekend?” would have revealed a ton about my mental state as well as probable effects on my physical state. A simple acknowledgement knowing me and how my body reacts to high humidity should have elicited an encouraging comment or two. Paying attention to what I was doing would have inspired confidence in my 36 squats- even though they were not heavy. I still don’t know if my knees were “drifting” but I have a feeling they were. And at the end of the session when I was clearly a sweaty, hot mess, a simple “good job today” would have done the trick-because for me it was a good job just showing up.
So another Monday session proved Mondays are not the day for me at my gym- which is too bad, because I like having the option of working out whenever I want at a time convenient to my busy life and work schedule.