Whenever I don’t want to do something I probably should (exercise) I usually enter into a game of self-deception.
I’m a master at self-deception. It’s a survival skill, actually, like making fire or navigating the grocery store on time, on budget and without losing more than one kid in the candy aisle.
When life’s events get a little sticky, my inner dialogue adopts a very self-serving and self-soothing tone in an effort to make it all manageable.
“OMG! Was that peppercorn stuck my teeth during the entire parent / teacher meeting?”
“No, no. And even so, Ms. Smith wouldn’t have noticed, anyway. You’re perfect. Nice ass.”
I know that exercise is good for me. It makes me feel strong, proud and free, like how I imagine most Americans must feel. It’s my Fourth of July.
But those rewards come only after the experience of exercising. Beforehand, I feel cynical, petulant and utterly resentful.
(Who decided physical activity was good for you, anyway? Damn you, Hal and Joanne.)
But it’s something I must do for my health, my sanity and my street cred (as a Suburbanite). So when it’s time to get off my tush and go for a light run, I play a little mind game with myself.
I’ll just put on these running pants because they’re comfortable. I’m not going running, just making an innocent wardrobe choice.
Oh, look. My iPod is charged. I’ll just clip this to my running jacket, for the hell of it.
Hmmm, I wonder if my running shoes still fit. Let’s just try them on and see.
Ok, I’m just going outside to do nothing in particular. I may or may not be gone for precisely 30 minutes.
Once I’m in motion, I always enjoy myself. I’m not training for a marathon, here, but the fact that I can tackle 5K every now and then is a huge (and recent) accomplishment for me.
So I’m going to keep on manipulating myself for the good of myself.
Besides, it feels good to know that I actually have some influence on a member of my household, even if that person is… me.