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Building a Lifelong Habit

This morning's workout consisted of: 
  • 50 pull ups
  • 100 burpees (if you don't know what those are, check out this YouTube video for examples)
  • 100 sandbag swings (ditto with this one)
And I'm a chick.  

Now, I'm not trying to brag.  Exercise is what gets me through the day, what makes me feel like I've accomplished something whether I get any actual work done or not.  It makes me feel powerful.  But I wasn't always like this.

Athlete-turned-couch potato

Yes, I grew up an athlete and have a family history of active lifestyles, but I didn't always love it.  Despite playing basketball and soccer in high school, the minute I graduated (or left, rather, after my junior year for college), I quit.  I drove everywhere.  I ate terribly (I worked at Starbucks - you'd be shocked how quickly those pastry calories can add up!).  I joined a gym, but only went once a month.  I decided I was just not meant to be an active person, and I'd just have to learn to live with a little layer around my tummy.

Now, for full disclosure, I should tell you my dad is just about the most active person I've ever met.  He plays full court basketball once or twice a week, lifts weights, skis like crazy in the winter, windsurfs/kiteboards in the summer, mountain bikes, road bikes, is on a CycloCross team, runs, hikes, and most recently, started doing CrossFit, an incredibly intense caveman-style workout.  I was always envious of his energy levels, but assumed the exercise-addict genes had skipped a generation.

Discovering an exercise addiction 

But a few years ago, something happened.  I was tired of being (slightly) pudgy, and had some extra time on my hands after graduating college.  I joined a gym, and started running in a nearby park a few times a week.  I hated running, so when I learned that weightlifting was even better for your speeding up your metabolism, I started doing that.  I got stronger, and fitter, and happier.  I started wanting to be active all the time.  I even got my personal training certification so that I could help others discover a gratifying active lifestyle as well.

These days, I'm pretty damn strong.  For a girl at least.  I do endless push ups, pull ups, dips, squat jumps, burpees, sprints, double jumps, you name it.  I get bored quickly so I prefer to make my workouts short and as intense as possible.  Most people used to reading a magazine on an eliptical machine for an hour would fall over and die if they tried them.

Forming a lifelong habit 

What I'm trying to say is, exercise is now a habit for me.  It's a passion.  I feel better when I do it, and I can't imagine my life without it.  

What if it could be the same for writing?  I've been down on myself lately since despite all the free time I've had after not accepting a job that would have killed me, I have barely written a thing.  I started to think, maybe I'm just not a writer.  Maybe I had been dreaming when I thought I could write all these years.  Maybe I need to find another calling.  But then I got thinking about my exercise habits and how magically, after years of avoiding the issue, the passion finally kicked in.  And with fervor!  

What if I could build a habit of writing so that it just becomes a part of who I am?  

I'll take on the challenge.

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