Every time I get on this mat or pull on these resistance bands, I ask myself “Why are you exercising?”
Not in that out of breath, almost sobbing, tortured “Whyyyy am I doing this?” kinda way that someone in a gym is whisper-screaming right now.
It’s a steady, straight question – one that no one ever taught me to ask about exercise (or much else). I ask and answer this question because I want to be certain that I’m sweating for the right reasons.
Most of us in the western world have been taught that exercise is the ‘solution’ for our bodies (because clearly, your body is one big shitstorm of a problem, right?).
My early life taught me that I should exercise to ‘fix’ the problem that was my body, to ‘work off’ food, and to make myself conventionally attractive. Thankfully, I grew up enough to realize that those reasons can suck it, so I regularly question my movement motivations, and I wait until the answers ring warm and glowy in my entire body. Answers like:
Because I want flexible hips for great sex. Because if someone around me gets seriously ill, I want to know I can deadlift their body into the backseat and book it to the emergency room.
Because when I get to that reallyreally challenging point and I pull off another 3 reps anyway, it reminds me that I’m a powerful motherfucker and gone are the days of letting other people define my body, my worthiness, my business, my life.
I’ll sweat for reasons like that. Only those.