Hello friends. Many readers of this blog are fellow fitness enthusiasts. Since I began writing it and tweeting regularly about my workouts, I’ve had countless people tell me it’s been motivating and inspiring. So many have said I’ve made them want to start running and hearing these things has been one of the main benefits of blogging for me! I love that it is inspiring and that my enthusiasm is contagious.
But, there are others who aren’t so friendly. I’ve heard people say I’m “obsessed” with exercising, or that I’m “OCD” about it. I’ve heard people say “you’re crazy” numerous times and roll their eyes at me when I bringing running clothes on vacation as if I have a “problem” with working out too much.
At a work conference this weekend, I actually tried to hide the fact that I went to the hotel gym because I often feel judged by people. And, here’s the thing, what am I supposed to do about it?
I work out — either running, elliptical, strength training, walking or Crossfit — for 45-75 min, 5-6 days a week, depending on what’s on the exercise agenda for the day (or if marathon training calls for long runs.) True, that’s more time than your average American spends on exercise but it’s not “obsessive” or excessive. It’s just what works for me.
Crossfit and running are things I’m passionate about! I love the way a workout makes me feel, I like to sweat and work hard. I love natural energy and endorphins that come with it. I love that starting my weekdays with a good workout feels like starting every day off on the right foot. I love how it clears my mind and brings confidence to my life. I love that it brought to Back On My Feet — an organization that means so much to me.
Do I also enjoy that exercise gives me the freedom to indulge in my food choices a little more? Heck yes! But that’s not the reason behind it. I’m at a place in my life now when moving my body and working hard are fulfilling and happy. It wasn’t always like this. In fact, it was about 2 years ago when my thought process about exercise shifted. Marathons were a big part of that. Having goals, kicking butt and making friends in the process.
Joining the fitness blogging community has been the second major game changer for me. I never knew there were people out there just like me — people who like getting up at 5:15am to get to the gym, people who want to sign up for 10ks and half marathons and spend their Saturday mornings in the chilly morning air all abuzz with race excitement. There are people who thrive on their weekend long runs and can spend literally hours talking about running. I only wish I had found this goal setting and this community years ago.
So, here it is — this is me. Running and working out are just a part of me — it makes me feel happy, healthy and whole. It’s good for me and I’ve found a hobby and an online community that I revel in each day. So, yes, I will go to the hotel gym wherever I happen to be. I will not feel bad because I loved my 15-mile long run over the weekend. And, yes, I will always bring my running shoes on vacation.