Thursday, May 25, 2006

Exercise is a Pain

Exercise is such a pain. Why is that?

I mean the best part of working out is finishing, at least in my book. I’ve never been one of those guys who loves spending hours each day at the gym.

My idea of a work out involves not getting a good parking place.

Am I alone in this? Looking around America, I don’t think so. We seem to be getting heftier, don’t we?

We had a friend visit from Australia a while back who said, “I’ve never seen so many obese children as you have here in America.”

And she’s not wrong.

My challenge here is one of priority, I think. I’d rather sit in front of this computer than go down to the YMCA and get on a machine. I know part of that is convenience. If the Y was in my back bedroom I might be more inclined to actually get on a machine.

I stress “might” because I also know the reality is the lack of convenience is just an excuse. And when I’m looking for an excuse, any excuse will do. I could just as easily say I don’t go to the Y much because it is near the airport. Or the TV’s are too loud. Or the A/C is too high (or too low). Or they don’t serve coffee.

The truth is I could pick any excuse because it doesn’t even matter. What I claim, my excuse, is not really why I don’t work out. I don’t work out because I don’t want to work out. I mean I want all the benefits of consistent exercise, health, stamina, looking good, and all that. But I don’t want it enough to actually pay the price, which involves an investment of time and effort. I prioritize it so low that it rarely actually happens.

Our nation is so wealthy that we seem to be able to afford to not do a whole bunch of things these days, exercise included. So many of us are unwilling to put in the work required to excel that we end up living lives of quietly despairing mediocrity.

I remember a quote from Finian’s Rainbow when Sharon asks Finian if there are any poor people in America. He answers something like, “Yes, but they are the richest poor people in the world.

And how true that is.

I can see a good side to this trend, though. With so few people actually exerting the effort required to excel these days, it means that we really don’t have to do all that much extra to stand out. As the saying goes, it only takes a little extra to change ordinary to extraordinary.

Even so, I still canceled my Y membership yesterday. I just wasn’t getting a good return on my investment.

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