When the Gym Becomes the Playground

The first few weeks of an exercise routine are always rough. Maybe you’re out of shape, maybe you have been inconsistent with your training, maybe you’re starting a completely new program and the exercises as foreign to you as that language you always wished you spoke. Whatever the case, the excruciatingly sore muscles are never fun, nor is wandering around the gym like a freshman on their first day of college, trying to make out the miniscule directions on the exercise machines without anyone noticing, or dimming your phone so no one can make out the “How to do a deadlift” YouTube tutorial you are analyzing. Your workouts are a chore, a necessary part of your day that you can’t wait to get over with. You’re not seeing results anyways, so what’s the point?

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Hold out because there comes a shift. It is mainly a mental shift, but of course your mental state and physical state are always closely intertwined. Let me explain: in the beginning, going to the gym always seems to negate time from my day. Then, one morning I wake up and it has transformed into an enhancement of my day. I look forward to it. I view the gym as a playground. I will look down at my phone at the end of my workout session, shocked at the fact that 2 hours had gone by?!? I was just enjoying myself. Testing my body. Exploring my limits. Exhausting every fiber of my being. So what changed?

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I think part of it has to do with the fact that after a month of following a consistent workout and meal plan, you start to see definite changes in your body. This is empowering. You realize you have autonomy over your life! You can reshape your body all through your habits! And of course this makes every day seem worth it. Once you have lost enough body fat, you begin to see the previous day’s hard work taking shape every morning you open your eyes and see your new reflection staring back at you. These are real, tangible, visible results that drive you to put more effort in each and every day. And suddenly you are reframing (a positive psychology technique!!) — and the gym becomes a playscape.

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Photos: Pixabay.com

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