Does “fitness” Steal Your Happiness?


Earlier in the week, my mother and I went to Lake Murray and walked the dam. For two days in a row I had been running it, but this particular morning I decided to walk with her. It was a beautiful morning and we both laughed and our thankfulness for the soft clouds surrounding us! It had been 90 degrees the day before.

The dam is approximately 1.7 miles long, according to The State newspaper.

We began on the left side, walked across and back.

As we approached the far end, I couldn’t help but notice a woman who passed. If you’re a runner or enjoy going to the gym, you’ve seen this woman too. She was sweating, gasping, moaning, groaning, and had a look of death on her face. She was miserable! Yet she was still moving! She could hardly carry on any further and her weak jog slowed to about 1-2mph. You know, the jog that you could easily power-walk past. I looked back at the side we’d come from… she had  a long way to go!

I turned to my mother and said, “You know what? I am so glad I’m not like that anymore.

“Like what?” she asked.

“Like that woman who just passed us! She is miserable! … And the reason I know that, is because I used to do that! I would think about how I wanted to look and who I wanted to look like. I would pressure myself to have the perfect figure, reach a certain weight, fit into a certain clothing size, and I was willing to do Anything to get it. Even if I felt awful afterwards!” 

“Yeah?”

“Yes!! But, I see it so differently now! So many people are pressured by the outside world to look a certain way and that’s ALL they are thinking about! But, what I’ve noticed in myself is that I never thought about how I wanted to feel! I would keep going until I couldn’t go any further. I was So exhausted, miserable, unsatisfied and unhappy!”

“Hm!”

“I know! So, now, when I go running or do any type of exercise, I do it so I can feel good! I don’t want to be exhausted or unhappy anymore! It was awful. It wasn’t worth it!”

“Right. That’s great! That’s what it’s for! To take care of yourself , be healthy, stay fit, clear my mind, enhance my mood, and feel great!… That’s a good point, Leigh. You should put that in your blog!”

“Ooh! Thanks! I think I will.”

Are you exhausted? Do you push yourself too far for the wrong reasons?

For once, stop asking yourself how you want to look, and ask yourself how you want to feel  when you are through! 

How do you want to feel?

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3 comments

  1. I sometimes grimace when I’m working hard on a machine or something, but it doesn’t mean I’m miserable. I’m stubborn enough that if I’m truly miserable i’m out of there.
    It’s just hard to do tough work with a smile on my face! lol.

    AND I FEEL GREAT! 😀

    1. That’s great that you know your limits! And you’re right, it is definitely tough to smile in the middle of those intense workouts! I’m there with you on that! The difference is that you know to stop when it becomes more than what makes you feel great! A lot of times, especially in my own life, it can become more of an obsession than a passion. And that’s when it wears you down and burns you out. See what I mean?

      Keep your limits girl! — and keep Rocking! 🙂

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