Dear Exercise: An Open Letter You Will Probably Sympathize With

dancing, exercise, fitness, Food, golf, Health, housework, trampoline, zorbing
A big cat representation of me contemplating exercise.

Oh, exercise.

Hello, my old friend. You are the thorn in my side; the curdle on my milk; the cloud to my silver lining.

Now I know, you have a point. As anyone reading this will understand, you’re very easy to hate. I’m not the only one. It’s a global thing, except for about 10% of the population who claim to love you.

But who could really love you, exercise? You’re no fun at all. If it’s between you and those supposed endorphins and a night in front of Netflix – it doesn’t even come close. You have stock photos showing people working up a sweat with huge smiles on their faces. But we all know it’s just lies.

The reasons I hate you are endless, but I’ll try and keep it brief:

  1. I know I shouldn’t hate you. You’re “good for me, ” and I should engage with you more. But somehow, knowing that makes me hate you even more. It’s like kale. Should I eat it? Yes. Do I want to? Absolutely not. So I resent it for being there, compromising me.
  2. You make me smell. I don’t care how many different antiperspirants are meant to help; they don’t. Eventually, exercise makes you smell. It’s inevitable.
  3. Did I mention the Netflix thing? Or, in fact, almost any other activity in the world? Still more fun than you, sorry.

Now, I’m not a quitter. I know why you’d think it because our relationship has been so spotty, but I have tried. I have done the classic thing of trying to make you more fun. No more sweating it out in a gym for me, pedalling to nowhere!

A Brief List of Things I Tried:

  • Zorbing. I have no idea why I thought this was a good idea.
  • Dancing. I can’t dance, and I made a fool of myself.
  • Golf. It’s something, but there’s not much “feeling the burn”.
  • Trampolining. Fun, until I remembered I wasn’t a child.
  • Skipping. See above.
  • Housework. I’m not sure why I thought doubling down on two things I dislike would somehow make it more enjoyable, but yeah, didn’t work.

I’ve tried bribery as well. I got some great workout clothes, except now I tend to refer to them as my “sitting around watching TV clothes”. I splurged on some Jordan 11 sneakers, and I love them. I love them so much I don’t want to get battered by exercise. I even tried getting a gym membership, so I felt compelled to go as I had spent the money.

None of it worked.

Can we ever work it out – excusing the pun – exercise? I don’t know if it’s possible. I don’t know if I will ever enjoy you, but I do know I’m not going to quit you. I get I need you (and I bet you love that, don’t you? My dependence?) so I will engage with this thing I hate.

All I ask is that you don’t expect me to do it with a smile on my face. This is how it’s going to be from now on. You, me, misery and grudging acceptance. Deal?

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