Tuesday, January 25, 2011


"You can't skip just one workout?!" I was asked incredulously last Monday.

And then last night, when I came home from work, my cat's adorable green eyes looked up at me as if to say the same thing.

The answer, of course, is yes.  Yes, even while training for a marathon, I can skip a workout from time to time.  I tweaked my right knee a little bit in weight training class last night (stupid lunges), so I'll consider taking it easy this evening after teaching Zumba instead of running four miles like my schedule says. 

But, no, I won't skip a workout without a good reason.  (And "I don't wanna" is not a good reason.)  In terms of training for a marathon, there is a certain mindset that you know you have to "do this" to "get that."  If you want to run 26.2 miles, you have to keep yourself going day-in and day-out to make that dream a reality.  With marathon training, if you don't do the work, you probably won't make it to the finish.  And that is enough to get runners up and out of bed and pounding the pavement every day.

However, for people with less ambitious (er, different) goals than running a marathon, it can be easier to let that determination slip.  Take for instance, those people with New Year's Resolutions to get fit that have been hogging all the parking spots at the gym this month.  Your gym's management isn't considering building a new parking structure to accommodate all its new members. They are well aware that the excitement and energy that the Resolutioners had in early January is slowing being replaced by excuses:  It's supposed to snow so I can't make it to the gym.  I don't have any clean workout clothes.  And, my personal favorite, I don't have time.  (If you have time to watch an hour of television at night, you have time to work out--just sayin'...)

When we talk about losing weight and improving our health, just like in marathoning or any other goal in life, we need to remember the mindset that we have to "do this" to "get that."  We have to adhere to a schedule in order to reach our goals, and have to hold ourselves accountable for the decisions we make.  There is no magic pill that's going to make you thin, and there isn't a workout fairy that will visit at night and sprinkle magic dust on you to give you rock-hard abs in the morning.  Alas, you have to do the work... even if it's too cold to go to the gym or you have a cat giving you the sad eyes. 

Do the work, and get the results.  It's that simple.


Nancy said...

Oh, now I feel guilty for skipping my 3 miles yesterday and getting into comfy clothes and watching TV in bed because "I just didn't feel like it"!

Gabrielle @ Weightless said...

Don't feel too guilty, Nancy - It does happen once in a while, even to the most motivated of us! And, I think that sometimes "not feeling like it" is actually your mind's way of telling your body to slow down and get some rest. ;-)

Steph K. said...

I'm glad you had that little conversation at the end but first I'll say another GREAT article Gabby! I love your blog!

Sometimes I just can't motivate myself to get in the mood (I could really use one of those exercise dinosaurs). Then there's the tricky part of discerning whether this is like non-negotiable not working out or I'm just being lazy. I say there's a difference because sometimes I've pushed myself to anyway and it's ended up great. Other times I'm really REALLY not in the mood and I force myself and I end up having a terrible work out for it. And in a weird way bad work outs are demoralizing... like if you're used to doing a certain pace or you don't meet certain bench marks that you always meet. So occasionally I allow myself to take a night off.

Does anyone else feel that way?