It’s OK to LOVE working out and still have days that aren’t easy

So you’ve developed a routine. Maybe you haven’t lifted a dumbbell in several years and now you are going to a gym to lift them a few times a week. You enjoy a couple HIIT classes a week and you have taken up a running program. It feels great. You LOVE it. You are sleeping better and your anxiety feels a bit more balanced. You may have muttered the word “endorphins” to your friends one too many times already. You downloaded an app that helps you keep track of your progress.

two yellow emoji on yellow case
What looks like a small metal rectangular box, embossed with many smiley faces. The lid is propped open and two palm sized happy faces are looking out from the box (they look like yellow velvet material). What is happening inside when one finds themselves mentioning the word “endorphins” too often.

This morning you woke up with a headache though. You had weird dreams. You questioned whether you should stay in bed and continue cuddling your dog/cat/ferret. You still went to the gym. It felt sluggish in parts. You went down in weight for the rows, instead of maintaining, or going up. You forgot your indoor shoes. You didn’t get the machine you like or the spot on the rig you prefer. You couldn’t get your head in the right place on the bench for the bench press and your elevated lunges were clumsy. Shouldn’t it feel easier now that you have developed a routine?

Yes, some days it will feel easier. Some days will still be a challenge. Some days you’ll feel like a rockstar. Others you’ll wonder if you are an imposter. You’ll have injuries you have to care for and work back from. That’s life. But, the part that gets easier is showing up even on the hard(er) days and making them work. It gets easier to assume fitness will be part of your regular schedule. Whether that means pushing through or taking it easy. Having a routine that becomes part of your regular schedule means learning to listen to your body. It means being patient on the tougher days, and also, relishing the days that feel “easy” and powerful. It means believing there will be good moments on the days that are tough. It also means being kind to yourself if some days it feels like you are faking it.

Having a routine doesn’t mean it’s easier. It just means you know how to ride the waves. Appreciate the overall benefits and patterns. Don’t let a bad day discourage you. Don’t let the ideas of perfection, or that every day will be a kick ass workout, stop you from appreciating the lows and sticking with it for all the fluctuations.

My wish for you is that you enjoy the journey. That you find what works for you and enjoy the ups and downs because, overall, you will LOVE it. (I hope)

If you started a new routine in January and you are wondering when it will feel easy, don’t worry about that. Continue going and assessing and tweaking and before you know it, it will be next January and you have a beloved routine.

Nicole P. loves to workout but also finds moments or days imperfect. It’s part of the deal, in order to enjoy the good moments and overall effects.

2 thoughts on “It’s OK to LOVE working out and still have days that aren’t easy

  1. Yesterday I was xc skiing and it was hard, or really, very dispiriting. I was considering packing it in and then I passed by one more medium length hill and decided–okay, it’s a crap day, but it’s beautiful (the trees, the snow, the solitude), so I slogged up very slowly (including sticking a ski tip into the berm beside the trail and falling on my face) and then finished off my ski. I was reminding myself of just that–I do love this being outside and tiring myself out.

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