When Workouts Really Suck

12 Sep

So remember how yesterday I set the goal to be working out within 15 minutes of publishing my post? Well. Turns out that didn’t happen. But it’s all good because when it comes to exercise you can always make up for skipped workouts.

So today I did my C210K plan as scheduled, but I added a weights session afterward. And now I am exhausted. And sweaty. And Michael just informed my that I’m smelly too. So… ummm… awkward…

Sweaty Betty

See how sweaty? And how blurry?

You know how there are some people who hardly sweat at all and there are others who sweat like it’s going out of style? Well. I am definitely the latter. I read somewhere that people who sweat more when they exercise are healthier… buuut more on that later.

Today I want to talk about a vital part of every good workout: the part that really sucks. You know what I’m talking about. You know how workouts feel awesome for the first little bit, and then it just starts to hurt? And you wish you were doing anything else? Yeah, I know that feeling pretty intimately. It’s on my mind today because I did weights for the first time in like… a half a year. Isn’t that so terrible? Don’t judge.


Someday I’ll be a rich parent and let my poor daughter use my amazing/expensive weights when she comes to visit. My parents had better keep an eye on them… I just might take them back to Seattle with me…

I just hate weights! I really, really do. I have a goal stored away somewhere to start to like weights some day, but today is not that day. When I do my workout, I go through all 8 exercises and then go all the way through 3 more times. Well somewhere between my first set of crunches and my second set of squats I really, really wanting to be done. But out of principle (or plain old stubbornness), I finished the workout. There weren’t very many moments that I genuinely enjoyed, but I loved being done. I think that’s why I stick with the hard workouts… just for that feeling of accomplishment when you get done. The sucky workouts are always worth enduring for the feeling of triumph at the end. In fact, the harder the workout, the greater the accomplishment.

The thing is, exercise is so much more mental than physical. Once you believe that, you can finish any workout you want (aside from CrossFit workouts… I’m not even going to touch those). If you can use the sucky moments of your workout to strengthen your mind, you have that much more of an advantage over the competition. It’s pretty awesome how it works.

The human body is absolutely incredible in what it can endure, but the mind is so sneaky! It wants you to stop and will even scream at you to stop and make you think you’re going to die if you take another step. So tricky. Even though the mind starts out as the weakest link in your workout, you can train it to become your strongest ally. Just like you condition your body, you also condition your mind. As incredible as the human body is, the mind is even more impressive. Eventually you can get to the point where your body is exhausted but your mind refuses to give in. It’s pretty awesome.

In honor of sucky workouts, here are some quotes by some insanely fast runners to send you on your way:

“A lot of people run a race to see who is fastest. I run to see who has the most guts, who can punish himself into exhausting pace, and then at the end, punish himself even more.”
-Steve Prefontaine

“I never feel more alive than when I’m in great pain, struggling against insurmountable odds and untold adversity. Hardship? Suffering? Bring it!”
-Dean Karnazes

“Learn to run when feeling the pain: then push harder.”
-William Sigei

These guys are such freaks.


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