As you all know, a while back I decided to join the gym. I was pretty excited about it, and at the beginning, I was able to carve a few things out of my day to make the time to do it. Those times were great, but after a while it just became too much time at the gym to go there and do what I wanted to do. It was getting difficult to keep up the routine that I was doing, and I needed to find more time. Right then, I was gifted another challenge.
A long time back-burner project at my 2nd job was now front and center, and we needed to go full bore to finish it ASAP. To kick that off, I started putting in 18 hour days, sometimes more. It was a lot of work, a lot of driving, and a lot of money. Unfortunately, it left absolutely 0 time for to get to the gym. I figured that would be the case when I heard about the sharp increase in workflow, but was kind of hoping that I’d still be able to find the time to head over there. It is my health, after all.
Fast forward to Wednesday. I get over to the gym, scan my card and the truth stares right back at me: last check in date: 9/21/10. Well, that smarted a little, but I decided that it was time to get to work just the same.
The one thing that I did do in my almost 2 months of absence from the gym is think of ways that would make the program stick. The first one that I came up with was to tie what I was doing in the gym to a real problem that I was having trouble completing (or found far more difficult than I would have liked). Immediately, I thought of a hike I went on down in Colorado. The hike was an 8 mile round trip, going up (and down) three 14,000 foot peaks (4 peaks if you’re willing to go against the rules). It was the first substantial hike of the year for me, and did not begin well. My roommate was planning to come along, but ended up getting very sick. I was worried that I would end up with the same stomach bug, but decided to go anyway, as I was feeling ok when I left. I started to feel worse as the night wore on, and couldn’t really eat much for dinner. I woke up, grabbed my pack and got on the trail. I had packed a gallon and a half of water (admittedly, overkill) but it was also very heavy. I struggled through the first portion with the major up hill, slowly going step over step and chewing on some of these to try and regain energy that was sapped the day before. It was also the only thing I felt like I could keep down. In the end I was able to finish, but I realized that this was a problem, so I came up with a way to work out like this at the gym. I’ve decided to fill my pack with water and take it to the gym while working on the stair stepper. It will provide me with a clear explanation as to why I’m going to/at the gym.
For now, this is the only solid reason that I could come up with, but I’m sure in time there will be more. Unfortunately, investments made in good health don’t pay off right away (for some people) but could take years (and years, and years) to pay off, in the form of a longer life or fewer joint problems when aging.
What do you all use as your reason to go to the gym?
Have you found that it works well, or are you looking to strengthen your commitment?