|Oh, hey. It's me |
And just as fast as my routine became..well routine, it started playing with my head (wasn't that quick?). I can't exactly pinpoint when it happened, but my attitude towards exercise took a nasty turn. As my routine increased I felt a sense of competition. From my "gym buddies", who were still going at it when I thought my 45 minute workout was done. From the girl next to me, sweating it out almost double the time I had. I thought I was doing enough?
So I started increasing. Suddenly 30 minutes wasn't enough, add 10 minutes on the treadmill..or better yet, add 20. Before I knew it I was up to a pretty regular 50-60 minutes of cardio each time I visited the gym. And why? The answer should be because it made me feel good. Because it was an accomplishment, and I was proud that I could stick it out. But it wasn't. It was because other girls were 10 pounds lighter than me, and they were sweating it out that long. Because suddenly if I wasn't committing 90 minutes to the gym, it wasn't a workout. At one point I honestly thought if I could only pop into the gym for a quick 30-40 minute workout it just wasn't worth it. Also, four days a week became a disappointment. Five was the new norm. Six was even better.
But looking back, I was setting myself up for failure. Because, as you may assume, trying to balance this crazy schedule on top of five classes, homework, tests, and work was a lot. Especially when you don't love it--when you're not doing it for the right reasons. It was disappointment and a guilt trip waiting to happen. Which is usually what it turned into. I couldn't be proud of what I'd accomplished because I immediately looked to what else I could have done. What someone else had found the time to do.... I couldn't accept that a little bit was better than nothing. It was physically and mentally exhausting, and reflecting on it now, probably not the healthiest lifestyle.
I'm not knocking a steady exercise routine. Or competition for that matter. But I had a lot to learn. And thankfully, a change in scenery the spring of my junior year prompted a much needed change in attitude. A healthy change...