Doing Things You Don’t Like

Posted: December 2, 2014 in General Fitness
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Ok, so last Friday I went out to brunch with my brother and sister, our mom, her husband, and his daughter. While talking my sister mentioned our uncle running for fun. And I commented- why else would you run? And we got into a little debate about people working out just for their health even if they hate doing it (my mom and sister).

I said I wouldn’t run if I didn’t enjoy it.

As I was out doing some running intervals I realized that is only partially true. During my short interval workout (with short intervals of running as fast as I could with recovery intervals of walking in between) I both loved and hated running. And I realized that I often during runs go back and forth between those feelings. Almost every run has lots of thoughts of “Why do I do this!?!” and “I hate running!” and also thoughts of “this is fun!” and “I love this feeling!”

If I really hated running all together I wouldn’t do it because there are so many other options out there for exercise. But also when it comes to my reasons for running, because I like it isn’t the only one, and at times not even the biggest one. Another big reason I keep forcing myself through runs is because I want to be able to run. I’m ok with never running a marathon, I don’t need to run those sorts of long distances, but I want to be able to run for reasonable distances. And the only way to do that is to get out and run.

It also reminded me of some other folks who talk about doing activities they do not enjoy. Ragen Chastain comes to mind, as she blogs about training for an Ironman and talks about how often she dislikes the training. And the more I think about it I realize there are a lot of possible reasons to run or do other activities, even when you don’t enjoy them.

I still think that people are often best served by finding things they enjoy and not thinking that if you hate running you have to just suffer through it. Hating running doesn’t mean you will hate all other forms of fitness and there are plenty out there to try. And I think people are more inclined toward sticking with forms of fitness they enjoy than those they hate.

But I do concede that there are plenty of other reasons to run than just because one enjoys it.

  1. G says:

    I think a lot more runners have a love-hate relationship with running than will admit it! (For me, when it’s good it’s great; when it’s bad, it’s torture. Thankfully it’s usually pretty good.) In the end, if you hate doing something, you’ll stop doing it; that old sawhorse “the best exercise is the one you’ll do consistently” is totally right on.

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