|No really, that's me now - only without a tan.|
I have a confession; I'm developing an addiction. No joke. It’s costing me $100 per month. That might not sound like much but to me it’s huge. Not so much the dollar amount though; it’s more the toll it’s taking on my body.
This growing habit is also taking up time from other stuff; cutting into important activities. At least it feels that way. So it can be a problem sometimes. Especially since there are only so many hours in a day.
But I'm not complaining. Instead I'm celebrating. See, the habit I'm developing is going to the gym. Though I’m still a ways from defining myself as a gym rat, I am starting to feel the fitness bug. That’s a good thing; a healthy thing. I've been in and out of this habit, working out, for most of my adult life. FYI, in my youth it was called ‘playing.’
Problem is, the older I get, the fewer chances I seem to have for this wellness pass time. Yet I know being in this particular habit is probably the best thing in the world for me. Not only does it help me physically, it also affects me mentally. Emotionally too.
|I'm in this photo somewhere, I swear.|
Being in shape tends to bring out my best side. I’ve got more energy and a better attitude. But it’s hard. The getting in shape part, that is. That's because when I'm out of shape I excel at concocting a thousand other reasons (i.e., excuses) why I should be doing something, anything other than pumping iron in the gym or running outside until I'm so nauseous I feel like I’m going to be sick.
When I'm not in shape, just thinking about going to the gym or doing anything strenuous is depressing. I think about all the hard work it takes: the sweating, the soreness, the time away from other stuff, any stuff I would prefer to do instead, like reorganize my sock drawer or watch paint dry. Or ordering a double Whopper, heavy ketchup, no onions, cut in half.
|That's my leg, right there - see? 5th bike back.|
Currently, I’m closing in on that psychological frame of mind where I can't not go to the gym, take a run or go mountain biking. It's as if my DNA is being somehow altered. It feels as much a mental thing as it does a physical one. Life activities and responsibilities magically re-prioritize in my mind, with being fit and eating right bubbling to the top of my daily list of things to do.
Habits are a funny thing; they can help or do harm. For instance, when it comes to be being a better person in other ways, like respecting those different from me, habits can be especially helpful. Trouble is, there are also bad habits. They creep in when I least expect it. Frequently, I don’t even notice them – no matter how well intended I believe myself to be. Bad habits like making assumptions and depending on stereotypes.
It takes dedication to make and break habits. It also takes practice. However, I find the more I work at it, the easier it becomes.