Today was my first day at the gym for 2009, but I arrived 15 minutes late, to the jibes of my three workout partners.
For all of us, it was our first day back to the gym since before Christmas. They assumed I had slept in, as my hair was ruffled and I looked a bit of a mess. In fact, I’d already been up for a while. The reason I looked like I’d just got out of bed was because I’d done a 10km jog before driving to the gym with the window open. My sweaty hair had dried in a somewhat dishevelled manner.
When I offered this seemingly perfectly reasonable excuse, they were surprised that I’d just done a 10km run (6.2 miles) before a weights workout.
But here is the interesting thing:
Like many people, they were thinking that I was running to get fit and keep the weight off. And why wouldn’t they, after all, isn’t that what most people do exercise for?
The way I look at it, getting out of bed at 5:30 or 6am and going for a jog is a great way to build self-esteem. How does that work? Think of it this way:
Imagine that you said to yourself something like; ‘I’m going to go to for a jog (or a walk) first thing in the morning’ – and then morning comes – you wake up, look out the window and think, ‘I’ll just lie here for a few minutes longer.’ What happens? If you are like most people, you stay in bed and don’t do anything!
What happens when you do this is you have broken a promise. A promise you made to yourself. If you break promises you have made to yourself, then subconsciously what you are doing is chipping away at your own self-esteem.
Over time you will learn to not trust yourself. If you can’t keep your promises to yourself, then who can you keep promises to?
One of the best ways to break this cycle is to make a commitment with a friend, and both of you agree to meet at a certain time and place for an activity.
I often toyed with the idea of going to the gym and I even joined a few gyms in my time, but it wasn’t until my friend Don and I decided to do weights sessions together that I actually started doing it on a regular basis. We’ve been going to the gym for about three years on a fairly regular basis. By ‘fairly regularly’, I mean that our plan has always been to go three times per week, but with his commitments and mine, it often works out at only once or twice a week – but still, we go.
I’m not a fitness nut by any stretch, and I’m certainly not addicted to jogging. But this year I’ve have made a commitment to myself to jog a certain distance each month ‘? and that means that I will put my kit on and jog out the door at 5:30am unless I really can’t physically manage it.
My reason for jogging is actually part of a success strategy. Not only do I build my self-esteem, but I also have time to spend time with myself and think about the day ahead. If I get fit in the process, then that is just a by-product of my success strategy.
Going jogging is a good aerobic workout, but you also need to evenly work the rest of your body, which is why I go to the gym as well.