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I hate to exercise…really?!

This morning on the way to my workout, I was thinking back to pre-Fitness North days and remembering the very first time I was introduced to the elliptical by my trainer Julie at Balance for Life Fitness Center. She asked me to do two minutes on the frickin machine, and I struggled mightily. And I believe that it was level 1!

During Fitness North boot camp just one year ago, I used to watch Phil just rock it on the elliptical and I always opted for the treadmill because I had a fear of the elliptical. (Be careful what you wish for because then Leif introduced me to the Arc Trainer!) When I had to do an hour of cardio at FN, I split my time and did 30 min on the treadmill and 30 on the elliptical.

Today, I opt for the elliptical every time and have been experimenting with increased levels and speed, but consistently do 50-60 minutes at level 11. Wow, what a difference a year makes. And the Ipad has helped too – not so boring.

I am someone who hates to exercise. Or so I thought…and of course that is what I told myself prior to Fitness North. The truth is, I don’t love the gym. But I am an outdoor enthusiast! And I do love to walk, hike, bike, climb mountains, snowshoe (I think), and this winter I will find out if I love skiing – either nordic or alpine. I have the best place in the world to practice on Minnesota’s North Shore – at Lutsen Mountains and on the more than 400km of cross country ski trails in Cook County.

I might even put on a pair of ice skates and give it a whirl. All indications are that I would love running and I have thought about 5K and 10K races or triathlons, which my sister Kristine runs. But, I haven’t tried running hard yet due to the nature of my knees and advice from trainers that may not be a good idea. Perhaps I’ll try when I get to goal and see how it goes. If I pursue running now, I might injure myself and not be able to work out and I am not willing to risk that. (Did I just write that – not willing to risk not working out?!)

The fact is, I have a new found love for activity and I get a high from pushing myself to new levels and tackling new challenges.This morning after two very stressful days at work and two missed morning workouts (yes it happens), I simply kicked butt in the gym. Both on the elliptical at my hardest push and highest level, and with my trainer Sandra who worked me hard. Jumping for god’s sake, me? Hmmmmmm.

So the truth is, I don’t hate to exercise. I get bored in the gym. But I LOVE outdoor activity and adventure and can’t wait to try new stuff. I am not an athlete (or a ballerina) so we do need to consider my lack of coordination in pursuing new activities. I also LOVE how I feel after a good workout in the gym where I push myself. Finally, perhaps most of all, I LOVE how I feel as an active person rather than a couch potato.

Many Biggest Loser alumni go on to become trainers and run gyms or health and fitness programs. Likely, not this girl. But, the lesson here for me is that being active beats being still. ANYONE and EVERYONE can find something they like to do to be active – so find what you love and do it. I think you might find, like me, that you can then no longer live without it.

It’s fun to be a healthy and active person. The bonus is that you meet other active and healthy people and who knows?! On Thanksgiving Day while I was out for my morning walk on a country road, I met the cutest guy out for his morning run. After just being chased by the neighborhood dogs, I didn’t hesitate to strike up a conversation and wished him luck with the dogs nipping and barking at his heels. That was the end of the encounter but I smiled the whole way back – knowing that if I had been on the couch or still in bed too lazy to get up and work out, I would not have met this really attractive healthy and active guy.

So while I am not an award winning athlete. And I don’t love the gym. I am active and need to be, and that darn elliptical has really grown on me. Who knew?!

What do you like to do? If you don’t know, or you re a couch potato or a workaholic like I was who doesn’t leave the desk, simply try stuff and find what fits for you…and then do it. Or, find an awesome personal trainer and you’ll have the accountability. That works too. Like me, you might find there is no turning back to an inactive life.


P.S. Leif if you are reading this. Yes, my check in will include a report of two missed days of cardio in one week. Ouch. But life intervened and now I am back on the horse – so to speak! 🙂

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