Finding Motivation: In and Out of the Gym

I so badly wanted to title this post "Just Fucking Do It: A Mantra for Us All," but I realized it might be too aggressive for an opening. So I put it in the less conspicuous opening sentence. #logic 

In all seriousness, that's exactly what I say to myself whenever I'm crawfishing on something -- specifically workouts. It's okay to have a day when you flat out do not feel well and need to skip the gym. That's totally cool. What's not cool is being lazy or too afraid to workout. Yes, you can be afraid to workout. I've realized in my own experience that this comes from having a fear of the unknown, of failing, and even of being judged by other gym-goers for what you can't do. That fear kept me from sticking to any kind of exercise plan when I was in high school and my first two years of college.

One day I just decided enough was enough. I wasn't going to be afraid of the gym.

Stretching it out, and ignoring the fact my top has fallen down.

Stretching it out, and ignoring the fact my top has fallen down.

Towards the end of my sophomore year of college, I looked in the mirror, unhappy with my body and the lifestyle I was living (even though I was going to the gym almost every day with a friend), and told myself to just fucking do it -- just go to the gym and eat healthy because otherwise nothing would ever change. Yes, I was going to the gym, but it took a while for me to really embrace the burning muscles and push myself. And I definitely wasn't eating the right way. I finally had enough of my own excuses. It worked. I've been a lover of healthy living for five years now, and even though it's been a slow road with a lot of set backs and learning experiences, I'm still committed to making the changes I want to see in my life and my body. 

Somehow this mantra leaked over into the other areas of my life. Now I repeat it to myself whenever I'm feeling insecure about my work or my ability to achieve something, when I want to apply to a new writing gig, or even talk to a cute guy. I frequently say it out loud actually, and that pumps me up enough to push me forward. As I go through 2016 with a long list of professional goals, personal dreams, and a bucket list of adventures, I've pretty much got "Just fucking do it" on repeat in my head. I'm not allowing my inner scaredy cat to dictate what experiences I do or don't have. I simply refuse to miss out on opportunities or my life long dreams. I've already lost enough time being scared.

Working on overcoming my fear of scorpions, and relying on the wall to have my back.

Working on overcoming my fear of scorpions, and relying on the wall to have my back.

The way I've learned to see it is the worst thing that can happen is failure. Well, I've failed plenty of times in my young life, and I'm still here dreaming the same dreams. Even the times I felt like the world was ending turned out to just be road bumps or scenic routes I was able to deal with thanks to perseverance and an Oscar-worthy support system. I'm not going to let the fear of failing or messing up keep me from at least trying. I hope you don't let it keep you from trying either. It doesn't matter whether you're scared of running down the street in a pair of shorts and tank top because someone will see your cellulite, scared of using the weight machines you've never tried, or scared of walking into a hot yoga class. Look yourself in the mirror, stand up as tall as you can, and square your jaw as you say "Just fucking do it."

And then go do it. I promise you'll be so proud of yourself for overcoming your fear.