The fun in exercise

By Trey Tompkins - Contributing Columnist

Exercise is fun, but not in that sense that we learned from our childhood impressions. It is fun in the sense that there is challenge that must be constantly renewed and discovered. It’s meaningful in this way and we mature our spirits with this practice.

When we think of fun, we do not also think “grit and discomfort.” That is more so associated with our exercise. Although, that’s just on the surface of how things appear. The fun with exercise is searching beneath your being. It is in discovering more than you could possible know about yourself, even when you are sure about who you are and where you are at. Once this discovery is made we begin to acknowledge the power was that it is something we choose to do. This is the fun. This is why it is worth repeatedly doing.

There are complexities though. Exercise needs to be frequent. This requires routine and discipline. Yuck! That sounds more like military. Well, it also requires creativity and spontaneity. Now, that does sound fun! Yet, we cannot have one side without the other, and this is where a lot of people struggle. For me, my struggle is that I prefer the discipline, which often leads to a decay in creativity and being spontaneous. The focus of discipline and routine is compelling, almost safer.

But other people feel otherwise. But what’s the balance and is there a measure to that? It’s hard to tell. Life fluctuates. Is there an easy way to figure it out? No, and this is the fun of it (which a lot of us turn into frustration and don’t deal with).

Suppose this balance was easy. There wouldn’t be a great experience or outcome. There would be no unique characters. No discovery of values. That is essential for us all. Aggravating at times, but that too is within the fun. As we age, grow and mature time reveals that to us.

Childhood impressions of fun are so organic, so fresh. Everything is new and exciting and those moments stay with us for a lifetime even if the memory fades. We need to adjust to this though. This is the greatness of exercise. Things, like memories, wear and, well, we must learn how to become aware of our wear! Exercise is adaptation, or better put, choosing to adapt. Not refusing.

That’s fun. It doesn’t seem fun up front and at first, but once a person learns their niche (what they like/what resonates), we get interesting opportunities and enable new capacities that nurture our livelihoods.

By Trey Tompkins

Contributing Columnist