Put Your Mind To It, Go For It

The Exercise High

Posted on: May 5, 2010

Over the past few years I have become increasingly more dedicated to exercise. The way I feel after a hard workout is better than I feel doing almost anything else.  It really is amazing.

When I used to be bored, lonely, or just empty-handed I would eat. I struggled (and still occasionally struggle) with a binge eating disorder. But what’s changed since making health and fitness a part of my life is that now, my go-to comfort is no longer food. The feeling I get from a good workout trumps the momentary satisfaction I used to get from a tub of ice cream.

Exercise did not come easily to me. When I was in high school (and at some of my highest weights) I couldn’t even run a mile. Possibly my most hauntingly embarrassing moment occurred during gym class my freshman year of school. Do you remember the presidential fitness standards? They were goals for the students to reach. In my school, those goals had to be met in order to ace P.E. The two standards that haunt me (and hurt my GPA) were pull-ups and the mile. To this day I’ve never done a pull-up. But that’s a story for another day…

In order to place for the presidential fitness standard and get an A in gym, I had to run the mile in 8 minutes and 15 seconds. I was lucky if I could run one lap in that amount of time. My most embarrassing memory has to do with this feat. As a freshman I ended up on crutches for a month. During that month, I got a sit-out pass from gym (yippee!). And, during that month, the class completed the presidential fitness challenge. I thought I had scored a major break until I discovered that anyone who missed the various tests would have to make them up later. On the day of the make up mile, I was the only person in my class who needed to make up the challenge. To make matters worse, I’d forgotten to bring a sports bra to school AND had worn a strapless bra that day. As all of the other students got to wander the track, I had to “run” the mile with my arms across my chest to support the “situation” I was dealing with.

As we all know, kids can be cruel…

Needless to say, I didn’t ace the mile. I finished that day of school incredibly defeated.

Now, years later, I could finally ace the mile portion of presidential fitness if necessary. I still am not a fan of running, but I can do it. Part of my disdain for running likely stems from the horrors of adolescent gym class teasing. But instead of swearing off all exercise, I have found a way to make it work for me.

I am currently addicted to group fitness. I schedule my social calendar around Zumba classes and I got certified to teach spinning classes.

The advice I have for anyone who is considering beginning an exercise regime but isn’t sure how to stick with it is to try a lot of different things. Some people love Yoga. Others prefer to take a walk with their dogs. As I mentioned, I hate to run; but, I love to take a bike ride with a good play list jamming on my iPod. I despise workout videos but I can plop myself on an elliptical for hours if I saved something good to watch on my DVR. Find what motivates you. Don’t give up after trying one or two things. There are so many ways to get active. Get creative.

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Hot Sundae

Fictional girl singing group, Hot Sundae, sang "Put your mind to it, go for it, get down and break a sweat!"

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