If you've ever attended a fitness class taught by me, you've heard me ask "are you SEVERELY uncomfortable yet?" This is what I say to incite maximal effort, to try to teach the class participants that the benefit they can experience from the workout is directly related to the effort they put in. I teach one of my classes before a lot of people even wake up, so I applaud the fact that people chose to get up before the sun to get their workout in. That's impressive. Sleep is so seductive. It draws you in and wants to hold on to you for as long as it can. Overcoming that desire to hit the snooze button over and over again takes discipline. Getting dressed in the dark and driving to your workout facility in the severe cold takes commitment. But putting in the work effort and getting so incredibly uncomfortable without over-exerting yourself takes practice. It is a skill that is learned the more you exercise, the more you push yourself within your known limits, and the more you trust in the process and the progression of movement and level of difficulty. During the exercise, during the exertion - nothing feels good. It's severely uncomfortable. It is a struggle to finish. It is a struggle to stay strong and focused and dedicated and so uncomfortable. The old saying "no pain, no gain" is completely false, however. Just to be clear. Exercising shouldn't feel good, yet it should not be painful. Learning the difference also takes practice. Learning what your body can handle without over-exertion and ultimately causing more damage than good takes practice.
Let's remember this mantra instead, "no train, no gain."
That's why a lot of people quit, quite frankly. It's hard. It doesn't feel good.
The expectation that results would happen immediately or sooner than they are, frustrates a lot of people. And when I'm being honest with myself, frustrates me too.
But the act of exercise - pushing yourself beyond what is comfortable - is so
good for you. It positively affects your thought process and shapes your body. It strengthens your heart and your conviction. It sharpens your reflexes and your mind. It pushes your limits and dreams. It opens up new doors when it comes to what your body is capable of and what you can do.
Do you feel good during a speed drill or threshold run? Do you feel good when you're lifting a new, challenging weight? Do you feel good holding a yoga pose longer than you did last time? Does it feel good when you're pedaling uphill? I hope your answer to these questions is a resounding "NO! It's uncomfortable".
You are not feeling good while pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.
But you know you? You feel AMAZING when you're done.
The ability to exercise is a gift. Not everyone has it. Not everyone fosters it. Not everyone takes care of it. Not everyone works to improve it. The degree to which you can increase your fitness has to do with your genetics, your gender, your age, your hormones and your workout efforts. You can do nothing about the first factors, but you have complete control over the last.
Your workout efforts directly impact your level of fitness.
You can choose to maintain your current level by doing just enough to keep
the status quo. You can choose not to do any activity and see your fitness level decrease. Or you can choose to consistently practice exercising to the point of
it being uncomfortable (nothing "feels good") to reach new fitness heights, to overcome plateaus and to accomplish goals that you once thought were impossible.
How can we do this? How can we get okay with being uncomfortable?
It takes practice.
It takes patience.
It takes consistency.
It takes trust and hope.
It takes community.
I encourage you to try a new program, class or machine. To reach out to any Wellness Center Staff member, Personal Trainer or Group Exercise instructor or member you notice is here every time you are. We want to work together to encourage you to get uncomfortable in your fitness, to be comfortable and confident with yourself.
This blog entry has no comments.