I hate exercise but I do it anyway

Came across this Time article this week; why exercise is a higher priority than my career, and it made me think of myself and my friends. 

It feels a bit surreal that I am writing about exercise. Me!? It’s almost like a sick joke. I’ve always hated exercise, and tried my best to avoid it. It’s never fun for me. 

I’d rather sit and drink hot latte and read magazines. And eat cheeseburgers. You get the idea. 

I only started going to the gym regularly 2-3 years ago. What drove that decision was mainly because I broke things off with a guy (Don’t roll your eyes, I know I’m a cliche). And I wanted to be a better me; healthier, prettier, and smarter. 

So, signing up for a gym membership and an intro to accounting class were the choices I made, to achieve a healthier-and-smarter-me goal. 

(Still regret the latter one, accounting WTF? but oh well) 

I could keep that routine going for about 6 months before I left for the UK. In the UK I did nothing. Signed up for contemporary jazz dance class for one semester, but couldn’t even drag my ass out of my flat during winter to go to the class weekly (obviously too busy hibernating in my room with a heater). 

I’ve recently started exercising only 4 months ago. Back to Bangkok, starting office life, and easing myself into routine, it makes sense to be committed to it again this time. 

I only picked hot yoga because there is the hot yoga studio in my office building. Convenience is one of the key factors I consider for exercise. Also discipline. So I usually have fixed Yoga dates of the week and try to stick to it. I find these two factors help making exercise less painful by reducing the amount of time to think and hesitate. Just grab my bag and press elevator down a few floors, on designated dates of the week. 

I still hate it and doubt if there will come a day I like exercising. Most of the time it’s incredibly hard convincing myself to go for 90 minute hot yoga in the evening after a whole day at work, especially on stressful days (Again I’d rather eat cheeseburgers…). 

After I do it though, it feels really amazing every time. Exhausting, but refreshing. Especially at the end of yoga with the dead body pose, you have to lie still and rest for a few minutes. After a 90 minute hot yoga with all the sweats, that feeling is pure bliss. It comes quite close (keyword: close) to the feeling of post-orgasm. 

And you’ve got a lot more energy afterwards. 

I’m not a yoga expert or anything and haven’t really read or studied about its benefits much, but one thing I really like about yoga is it feels like you exercise your body and mind at the same time. You have to learn to breathe deeply; inhale, and exhale. 

More often we are told to let go of our worries of the day. Once, a yoga instructor even told us to “surrender” to the yoga mat. 

To me, that is probably the first time someone told me to “surrender” All my life it’s about to keep going, fighting for the best, never give up. 

Yoga does give me another perspective to look at. The different side of it. 

This is something I didn’t expect but picked up by practicing yoga, for only a few times a week. 

Many of my friends seem to be so busy these days. Some are very busy juggling an MBA degree and a full-time job. Some are extremely busy squeezing a full-time job and starting their own business. They say being too busy, trying to do everything, with not much sleep and no exercise makes them feel very exhausted. A friend even said she got so busy that she became disoriented and forgot her meeting or asked for two meeting appointments at the same time. 

I get it that many people my age are probably trying hard to do everything all at once. We are still fairly young, we think we are capable of doing it all.

It might be true, and you may be able to keep it going for 5 or 10 years. I have to quote my dad here as he likes to compare that health is, just like anything else, a resource. If you keep taking advantage of it, depleting all of it, and not sustaining it, one day you will have to pay the price. Probably an expensive price as it is an accumulated result of your habits for the past 5-10 years or perhaps your whole life. 

I’m certainly not a great example of having a healthy lifestyle; eating and exercising. Trust me, I am far away from it. But I do believe in living with balance and no extreme; too much and too little of something is not good. 

For me, moderation seems to be the key. And exercising seems to fit in this picture of “balance” So I *try* 

(Sounds like a Buddhist teaching here! And hey, I don’t know if I believe in karma and reincarnation stuff, but this moderation thing sounds pretty cool to me) 

This blog post could be a result of guilt as I skipped yoga today. Aim to go tomorrow instead though! 10AM on Sunday morning is going to be painful, but it’s going to be worth it, like I feel it is every time at the end of 90 minutes. 


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