Are we Masochistic?

Last Update: September 02, 2013


It's easy to see by a quick glace at my profile that I LOVE fitness.

Why do I love it? I mean, many people desire to be fit and healthy but most people do not LOVE fitness and the PROCESS of becoming or developing fitness.

About a year ago I actually had a thought occur to me while I was at the gym, sweating my butt off, feeling sore and a little tired. The thought was, "why the hell do I do this to myself?" "Do I enjoy punishment or self-induced pain?" I actually had to meditate on that because I didn't know! It really BOTHERED me that I couldn't clearly define the reason that I actually LOVE working out.

Was it because I like the gym? NO. Do I like the camaraderie of my fellow gym goers? Heck no, (no offense) but when I am working out, I am heads down, ear buds in, sweaty and anti-social.

So do I enjoy the way my body feels when it is being punished by plyometrics or squats in the Smith Machine? Hmm, I was getting closer but it really wasn't hitting the nail on the head. So, I decided I would settle on "punishment" as my motivational factor because it seemed logical, I guess. Yep, I'm just a masochist. Great!


Now that I seemingly understood why I "enjoy" working out, I had a new problem.

As a personal trainer, I usually try to relate my own experience and motivations to encourage a client to keep consistent with their training program.

However, I doubted how motivating it would be to share with them the reason I keep coming back for more is because I like to punish my body. Nope, better to keep that one to myself.

Of course, I always ask a person what their reason is for wanting to be fit. More often than not, they tell me they want to lose weight. Yeah, everyone has an idea in their head of what their ideal body would look like. Honestly, I think it is way more critical that clients focus on the "process" and less on the end result.

So, how can you convince someone that working out is "fun" or "desirable"? It actually dawned on me one day when I took my mom to the gym with me. She was right in the middle of doing a set and she put her weights down. Initially I thought something was wrong with her but then I noticed her goofy grin. She looks at me and said, "Wow, I get why you are so addicted to this!"

Seriously mom? Are you for real or just pulling my chain? She told me that she had never experienced the "lifters high" before. It happens when you reach high level of endorphin rush. She was on to something and then it all made sense.


Looking toward an end goal isn't enough. This became painfully real to me after my first Figure competition. At the time, I really didn't understand all the nuances of competing. Everything including preparation, diet, training programs and even post show, there was much I learned from the experience. Although, making that goal was an amazing climax high. What happened afterward was major disappointment.

The disappointment came over me because my goal was accomplished. It seemed that the ride was over and I was struggling to see what all of it was really for. What I realized looking back was that all of my best memories and experiences truly happened during the training process.

There were many highs and lows of course, but through every struggle that I faced during the journey- there was a huge HIGH that followed.

If you find delight in the process of your struggle- you will also find much pleasure.

This to me, is the reason we keep moving forward. It isn't that we love pain or struggle, but we love to succeed so much that we are willing to endure just to have a taste of it.

"Cervantes said the journey's better than the end. Practices, to me, were the journey." John Wooden

Join the Discussion
Write something…
Recent messages
Trialynn Premium
I would compare it to having to climb the mountain before being able to enjoying skiing down, but ski lifts killed that comparison. I got it, the fee you pay for the lift is absurd, so avoid the fee by climbing the mountain instead. Either way, there is a price to pay for getting to the top!
SerainaLee Premium
LOL, you would love to hear about a time when a ski lift almost killed me. Oh wait, there were two times I was injured and almost killed by one. Perhaps that will be the subject matter for my next blog- but I digress! Thank you for this analogy it made me smile! There is always a price to pay but the reward is always so much sweeter when the journey is more challenging. ;-)
Angelsway Premium
Lol. Theres no such thing as a free ride.
SerainaLee Premium
That's for sure and it really wouldn't be good for us anyway! Thank you for reading.:-)
speedking Premium
Well written Seraina,
Its always well worth it to struggle for something in life , its part of life . And when success arrives , there is nothing like it that brings that certain feeling of joy and achievement , absolute satisfaction !.....My dad always used to say "son its good for personality building !" .............goal setting is a very important part of our internet business , one cant go ahead without it !
SerainaLee Premium
Thanks so much and I couldn't agree with you more. Challenges build character, endurance and appreciation. Everything beautiful and worthwhile in this life requires refinement. Goals create urgency and ambition to reach outside our current level of comfort. Life to me, would not be worth living without goals.:-)
wtbee2013 Premium
great job! This is so right. ; O)
SerainaLee Premium
How nice! Thank you for reading.:-)
okydoky Premium
Great story Seraina.
It's very true that when we succeed at something and there is no higher goal ahead then we start to feel a bit down in the dumps and therefore it's always better to have another goal. That's why an internet business is great because in this business there are always higher goals to achieve if we put our minds to it.
SerainaLee Premium
Thank you Ian! Yes, I had quite a low after I competed so much that I wasn't even sure if I wanted to compete or train rigorously anymore. It was silly to get down about it. I learned to really ENJOY the struggle.