longtime foe

I’ve written about it before, but intentional exercise, with a simple goal of, well, exercising, has always been an odd tar pit for me.

I feel all two left feet, like I know nothing, like I’m the most stupid beginner, uncoordinated without hope of improving. Might as well be dancing – the way it’s intimidating and I’m pretty certain un-learnable for me. Because I feel like I’m doomed to doing it wrong, I doubt its efficacy.

The only way I’ve ever been able to successfully translate exercise into improvements in fitness if when I keep it dead-easy: simple cardio on a regular basis. Something like forcing myself to get on an elliptical for 40min/day or something. The Peloton is good for this, I found the content engaging and the mechanics easy enough and I could make it a habit.

But, even still, it wasn’t something I was doing because I enjoyed it. I guess there are lots of things we do but not because we enjoy them: brushing our teeth, getting a colonoscopy, cleaning the kitchen after a meal (OK I actually really do like that last one). I just hear people talk about how much they enjoy exercise, how it gives them almost a “high.” Let me be clear I had never experienced that before. Exercise was always work-because-I-have-to.

Six months ago, though, I transitioned out of a Peloton slump and onto an actual bike, five days a week, commuting the ~6mi to work and ~6mi back. I wrote about it here.

It feels almost a risk to type it, but, people – riding my bike to and from work is one of my favorite parts of my day. When I’m not able to ride, because of weather or other circumstances, I honestly miss it. I mean, it’s definitely exercise: I get sweaty and huffy-puffy and my muscles feel taxed after. But it’s exercise I’m truly enjoying, which is something entirely new for me. I’ve always had “physical activity” I’ve enjoyed, things like hiking or kayaking or taking walks, but this is the first time I’ve truly looked forward to what I’d think of as habitual/regular exercise.

New stuff… and it makes me happy. Excited to hit the year mark and keep going.

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