Are we Masochistic?
MY MASOCHISTIC TENDENCIES
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!
THE CONSISTENCY FACTOR
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.
SUCCESS IS A NATURAL HIGH
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.