The Gym For Those Who Hate It

AHHHHHHH!!! Then comes intense pain.

“That’s it! I’m done! I’m never doing this again!”

“But… you haven’t even stepped into the gym yet…” Yassine responds, trying to stifle his laughter.

Alright. So… the gym. Lovely place? I don’t think so. The results are great and that is something even I can’t deny but is it a lovely place to visit? Nah. Do I still go? Reluctantly, yes. A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do.

I’ve been lucky really. I’m one of those rare gems that’s been very resistant to peer pressure over the years. If you don’t believe me ask how long one of my closest friends tried to get me to watch anime. I may be an avid fan now but it was a major, major struggle to persuade me. I was as immovable as the Great Wall. I did move eventually, even the Great Wall would with enough force, but it was storming difficult to do so. The same situation happened with the gym. My friends tried. Panas tried but even his Greek charm couldn’t penetrate my no-gym-resolution. My parents encouraged me, I said I’d “think about it”. I did… but for half a second and chose not to. Avinash tried, albeit much more forcefully and… I eventually acquiesced – albeit temporarily, I settled rather quickly back into my old regime of relaxing all my free time away. Go figure. Actually that’s what started happening. My formerly athletic build was steadily becoming more – mushy.

It turns out the hardest part was getting me to go in the first place. Actually doing the work and maintaining consistently turned out to be really easy. It’s deciding to go that’s always the most difficult. How I overcame it is a bit of a mystery to me but the one thing that stands out is that I made a conscious decision in my mind, sort of like I did with this blog, to push through the initial discomfort and difficulty of trying something new. It was especially easy to see going to the gym as a good thing when I looked at the people that had. Sebastian, George, Mwazvita, to name a few of my friends, would not stop harping on and on about ‘gains’. What made the greatest influence on my decision though was knowing what their personalities were like before going to the gym and seeing the change after it had become a part of their lifestyle. These guys had varying levels of self-belief going in but gained a sort of resilience coming out. It seems as though as they worked the bars, as they ‘pumped metal’ they were also exercising something whose importance we tend to overlook – willpower.

I guess it was a bit of peer pressure after all. Only this time positive.

At first I didn’t understand how something so painful, physically and otherwise could be so appealing to some. I didn’t get how going to the gym more increased the appetite for it. Turns out the reasoning is really simple… doing something you don’t like, with all of your might breeds resilience; discipline. The more you do it, the more willpower and discipline you add in your tank. In other words once you get the ball rolling it gains momentum and requires less effort for you to push it.

In short – I know you don’t like the gym. I know you’re not a fan of writing essays. Go anyway. Start right away. If the thing in question has results you long for why not go for that little push and get the ball rolling. Trust me when I say you’ll enjoy it along the way.

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