I don’t. I am the Olympian of getting excited about something, diving headfirst into the deep end and jumping out the millisecond it gets cold. I suppose, like most people, I love the initial challenge, the taste of success, the possibilities; however, as soon as the work overshadows the fun, I stop.
I’ve done it repeatedly with exercise. For years, I had a garage filled with yoga videos, Ab crunch machines, strength bands….and, yes, even a thigh master. I owned every video and DVD from Jane Fonda to Tony Horton. My closet was filled with leotards, unitards, terry cloth sweatbands, scrunchies, track suits and leg warmers. I’d buy the crap, wear it, exercise to it and then, invariably, stop.
At first, I’d buy crap on late night infomercials, then I’d graduate to the crap hawked on Shark Tank. Then, something snapped. Something snapped in my head and I committed. The key, which I personally couldn’t come up with was tapping into my competitive nature. My need to be the best. My insane desire to win. The other activities were hobbies; over botoxed celebutantes spewing at me from my tv…it wasn’t personal because it didn’t know how to engage me. So, I started bootcamp. Exercising with a group of people but still getting the one on one motivation.
One year ago today I ran my first mile. It wasn’t pretty. And it wasn’t my competitive spirit which was awakened, it was my anger. Who the fuck would do this? Why am I doing this? This is stupid. You are ridiculous. I was pissed, I was angry. I was infuriated. But I came back because I couldn’t let the exercise beat me. I couldn’t let the super fit trainer beat me. It didn’t matter that I was 50 pounds overweight and engaged in 15 months of full blown sedentary inertia. I could not lose.
I ran and I failed. But I failed excellently. I walked and vomited and quietly shouted every expletive I could. My trainer became my arch nemesis and I was determined to best her in any way I could. I kept coming back. I glared, I swore, I pouted but I came back. And, somewhere along the journey, the anger faded: At her, at the world, at myself. Somewhere along the journey, I started to get fit. Somewhere along the journey I started to have fun. The pounds shed and the mask I was hiding behind crumbled. Because I stuck with it.
Who sticks with Anything for a year? I did, and it was the best decision of my life.