When no one is looking…


What do you do when no one is watching you workout?  Let’s say you went out for a run, alone.  Do you stop to walk more often than when someone else is with you?  Or do you push yourself harder because you don’t have to worry about slowing down for someone else?  I tend to believe that most people opt for the first option.  It is too easy to just say “the heck with it!” when we are alone and no one is watching.  But, why even workout if you aren’t going to do the best that you can do?  It would almost be a waste of time.


A few of you may choose not to go to the gym because you assume that people are watching you and judging you.  Well, don’t get too full of yourself…. people typically have more important things to think about.  And who really cares what someone else thinks?  Isn’t it supposed to be your workout, not theirs?  Everyone has a different strategy and of course we should all know that everybody’s body is different.  I admit that I have often wondered how an overweight person can pass me out on the race course.  Obviously, my running fitness is not as fine tuned as theirs and I have learned that you can never really assume anything.  You can get your rear kicked by anybody.  And the same applies in the opposite situation.  You may see someone at the starting line who appears to be fit as a fiddle, has the so-called runner’s body and all of the most current running gear and gadgets.  Then, the next thing you know, you are flying by them at mile 12.


When no one is looking, I try so hard to give it my best, but I must admit that I often fail.  However, yesterday I was on the spinning bike (not in spin class) and I forced myself to sweat bullets.  I didn’t allow any breaks and I pushed through the pain.  I really felt like I had a good workout when I got off that bike.  I was proud that I did that all on my own.


I know that I am competitive and that I am most challenged when I am with someone.  I spend some time running and riding with people who are more experienced (and way faster) than me so that I am forced to push myself harder.  It just seems much easier to do that then to try to give myself a stupid “you can do it” peptalk.  Today, during boot camp class, I was in so much pain trying to hold a plank (forever, I swear) and it took everything I had not to let my knees touch the ground because I knew that no one else in the class was going to give up.  It was actually kind of funny because I found myself trying to meditate and breathe evenly and I am not one to do the inner feelings crap like the yogis.  The instructor had said “put that pain in a box and ship it the fuck out of here” (sorry, but those were his exact words).

Then I think about the discipline.  When no one is looking I get my bum out of bed early to go for a run.  When no one is looking, I make the choice to go to the gym.  When no one is looking, I ride 20 miles instead of 10 miles.  When no one is looking, I run up the hills instead of choosing the flatter path.  I think I’m finally getting pretty good at this.  I tell my daughter to “always do the right thing even when no one is looking.”  That is something that we all struggle with.  Take note and try to push yourself a little more the next time you are working out alone.  Or, make the choice to look fear in the face and try working out with someone who is faster or stronger than you.  I get tired of people saying that they wouldn’t want to run with me because I am too fast for them!  That is the whole point!  (And I am really not that fast :).






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