Why I Work Out (it’s not the reasons you think)

The single most annoying question I have ever been asked in my life is “Why do you work out/run?  You’re skinny and don’t need to.”  The question annoys me because it makes the false assumptions that 1 – If people are thin then they are healthy and 2 – The only reason to work out is to lose weight.

I’m not going to give you the typical answers that you hear about why all people should exercise.  Yes, working out helps me to sleep better, gives me more energy, etc.  I’m glad that I gain those benefits, but they aren’t the driving force behind my workouts.

Here are the real reasons I do it in no particular order.

1 – Creativity.  I love to write, but other than completing journal entries I find I hit writer’s block a lot.  Working out provides a mental distraction from life.  I find running often triggers my more creative thoughts, but doing any kind of workout seems to clear my mind enough to want to write.  Some of my best ideas have come either during a run or in the shower post-workout.  My inspiration for this blog came after doing a total body DVD today.

2 – Self confidence.  Pushing through a tough workout especially if I wasn’t in the  mood to workout that day is such a boost.  It makes me feel stronger both physically and mentally.  It also sparks an adrenaline high that makes me feel like I can accomplish more things in all aspects of my life.

3 – Sex appeal.  This one ties into the self confidence reason.  Some girls like putting on makeup or wearing certain clothes to feel attractive.  I feel sexier after I’ve exercised, particularly after an intense run.  I love my body more after pushing it beyond its daily requirements.  Oh and I love my oblique lines courtesy of my workouts.

4 – Balance and control.  There are so few things in life that anyone has any real control over.  When I work out I get to dictate everything – what I do, how long I do it and how intensely I do it.  This ability to have control while actually freeing my mind is a balance that I’ve found is much needed in my life.  Any time I’ve hit bad spells over the years I seem to always come back to working out as a therapy of sorts.

Not what most people expect to read I’m sure, but those reasons motivate me to continue to work out/run.  I wish I could provide them as responses to people, particularly strangers, who question why I do what I do.  I just assume they won’t really “get it” so I tend to tell them I do it because I enjoy it; that provokes weird enough looks to amuse me and is the easiest and most truthful answer I can give.


About Tracy

Runner. Writer. Reader. Environmental and Indigenous Peoples advocate. Work from home Workforce Specialist. NASM Certified Personal Trainer. Assistant Varsity Track Coach. Fascinated by the ocean, waterfalls and Christmas lights.
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