Ambivalence is a word defined as the state of having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about someone or something. There is a term in fitness pegged “exercise ambivalence,” and anyone who has tried a routine workout plan has dealt with these feelings.
There are a number of competing life pressures that contribute to our inability to get into the gym. Jobs, kids, and bills drag our energy levels down. This gets us to thinking that a workout will probably provide insufficient results, and ultimately give us no benefit.
This is not true. Recently, I spoke with a member who comes here to Court House Fitness in town. He shared his story with me, and the secret that gave him the most success.
On days that he didn’t want to come, while driving home from work, he would still pull into the parking lot. Whether or not he came in wasn’t important. His commitment to himself was to make it here and that was the promise he stuck to.
As time passed, he started coming inside more and more on those days he felt ambivalent. What he learned was that he was getting his best exercise on the hard days more often than the days it felt easy to come in.
This is a monumental stepping stone in creating a transformation. Ambivalence never really comes at the moment you are exercising. It comes in the moments that you are not. This is also true with the other life circumstances of work, bills, or taking kids around. You know that once you get there you will be fine.
Exercise ambivalence is something that you can not take short-cuts around or have a break from. In a sense, the reason we do decide to workout is to shed that feeling of contradiction and to be stronger with it. You must, MUST, fulfill the commitment you’ve promised to yourself. Even if it is something as small as pulling into the parking lot.
You are strong enough. You are “ready-enough.” You are “committed-enough.” Whatever your state of being is. You are enough. Make the promise, and stick to the promise.
Trey Tompkins is a local resident who writes fitness columns for the Record-Herald.
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