Letting go of hate to exercise for nerds

I liked to run as a kid. What kid doesn’t, right? Running, stumbling, falling, crying, and running again. The joy of moving your body.

Many years later I faced that I lost that joy. I spent significant part of my life hating on physical activity.

This is a story of how I got to that place. And how I moved on from it.

Physical “education”

I went to school six years old, a year early. Keeping up intellectually was never an issue for me.

Keeping up physically was. I was sickly kid, a year smaller, weaker, and slower than my environment. The gap I did not even understand at the time.

School’s physical education was anything but education. It was a mix of exercise (with no effect I ever felt), games (where I was last pick), and tests.

The idiocy of tests was profound. What is the point of a school grade for running some kilometers in a prescribed time? Same time for 6 and 8, 11 and 13, 16 and 18–year–olds in a class at given year.

Whenever I did something right enough or fast enough it wasn’t an achievement. It was a miraculous fluke to be pointed out by the teacher. Look, that, does not happen often!

I hated it. And I mistaken it for hating exercise and physical activity for many years after. Exercise for nerds can feel stupid and something you can do without.

Starting over

In university PE was more lax. Graded on attendance rather than tests. There was also choice of sport and tennis got me through.

And after university I just stopped. I no longer had to exercise and I did not want to.

I never kept a company of physically active people. Few of my family and friends exercise at all.

By late twenties I started to notice my fitness declining. I put on extra 10 kilos (unusual for my slim flimsy build) and started to get winded by things like going uphill. By the way Kyiv is all uphill.

Luckily I had also noticed that my hate of exercise had faded with years.

I could move again for myself, not having to justify my results for anyone.

How far I got

I had started and kept exercising for about three years since. I don’t do much of it either.

My routine consists of stretching and alternating days of push–ups and sit–ups. Keeping counts was deadly boring, yay for apps!

I average about twenty days with exercise in a month. My numerical progress does not sound impressive. My build and weight are roughly the same. This is not a story of me getting beach body makeover. :)

Here are the things that did change for me:

  • the meat on me is changing from fat to muscle;
  • lower back pains went away, because I now have muscle to support my height and weight;
  • my clothes went down a size, as I realized that I was buying baggy things to obscure my body;
  • the hate had stopped — exercise can be tiresome, but it is something I can push myself to do and know it makes me better.

Exercise for nerds

So if you are in a place like that, when exercise is stupid and makes your stomach turn… I think the world got you in a bad place, but you can make a choice to get out.

Few things to point out, if I may:

  1. Your body can be trained and improved.
  2. You might have forgotten, but physical activity feels good.
  3. Even small amount of regular exercise makes progress.
  4. Anyone with opinions on your fitness should go get lost.
  5. Improve your quality of life (leave superhero physique to actors).
  6. There are apps for that.

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