Friday, November 4, 2011

My Love/Hate Relationship

We've all got them.  We love things, we hate things, and sometimes we feel both for one thing in particular.  For me it has always been this one thing: Exercise.

I heard you gasp.  I hear you thinking, "But Renee'!  You're an Exercise Physiologist!  How could you hate exercise if you've made it your life!?"  Good question and I'll tell you.

I grew up playing all kinds of sports!  I think I started with tee ball, moved on to swimming, moved on to softball, moved on to basketball, and then added my all-time favorite, volleyball.  When I was a senior, I got a wild hair and gave track and field a try.  I hated every minute of it but I sure did love the results!  I was the "thinnest" I'd ever been!  I have a love hate relationship with sports, too.  Did you know I mostly hated basketball?  I started playing when it was still 5 on 5 for girls (God, I'm getting old!).  I ended playing when I was a senior in high school so I basically played for 12 years of my life...and I basically hated it all 12 years.  There were a few things I loved about it though.  I loved the girls.  I loved my friends, the atmosphere, spending time with these ladies who maybe wouldn't give me the time of day any other way, and the parents.  That's why I played so long, not because the sport was fun all the time or that I was very good, though some might disagree on that last point.  See what I mean?  Love/hate relationship.

When I went to college, I was extremely scared of the freshman 15, those pounds you accumulate because you can do or not do whatever you want and eat or not eat whatever you want.  My friend, Amber, went to the same school with me and lived just around the corner.  We forced each other to get up and go to the on campus gym.  Okay, she forced me more often than not; I am not a morning person!  Prior to this, exercise was something I did because I played sports.  During this, I fell in love with exercise...but I hated the pain.  Exercise doesn't always feel good!

I met a guy that year.  Nothing motivates a college girl to get fit like meeting a guy.  An important guy.  A guy you REALLY like...okay, you love!  So I started running...and I hated it.  I H.A.T.E.D. running!  The longer I ran, the more I started to push myself to do it and the more I started to love it.  The running, well that lasted ~6 months and then I stopped running so I could spend time with the guy.  The guy, well that didn't last either.  Sometimes what you love gets all mixed up with someone you love and when they don't love you anymore, you don't love that something anymore...if you're following me here.

That's when I took a class called exercise physiology.  It was an advanced course and I was a sophomore so I was intimidated.  I got an A+.  I didn't get that grade because it was easy and I didn't have to study, I got it because I fell in love with what exercise did FOR the body, not how it made a person look good.  Seriously, I am the biggest nerd when it comes to exercise physiology.  I love it.  I decided to make it my career and spent time in the professor's office asking questions.  I found a school where I could do a master's in exercise physiology, ended up suicide applying (e.g. I didn't apply anywhere else), and thankfully got accepted.  Sometimes I just hate exercise, or the act of exercise.  Yep.  Love/Hate.

And now I'm here.  I'm 28 years old.  I have a 7 month old baby and a post-baby body.  It took no time at all for me to lose the baby weight and then some but there's one thing I know I can give my baby and myself that no one else can.  A healthy, happy version of me.  I decided to pick up something I hated: running.  About 2 months ago I started to do intervals.  1 minute running, 3 minutes walking, repeated for 30 minutes.  I'd change it up over time and now I'm up to running for 25 minutes.  Sure, it doesn't seem like much to "real runners" but it's a lot to me!  I've also gone from hating running to loving it again in a short period of time.  In fact, I get frustrated when it's a hard day and I just can't force my body to run.  Even my body has a love/hate relationship with exercise!

See?  Sometimes love/hate relationships are good things.  I may have a love/hate relationship with exercise, but I've been exercising nearly my entire life!  Not very many people can say that!  I'm off to plan my run today.  It's interval day.  I LOVE interval day!

Enjoy your weekend!

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