Over the past week, my area has seen a lot of cold, miserable weather. And over the past few days–with appointments, work and general chicanery–I haven’t seen a lot of sleep. Also, my lungs feel like they’ve been building a collection of that thick run-off that gets left on the plate when you have ice cream cake. Though there’s a chance that they’re slowly building me an apology ice cream cake, I don’t know how they are going to deliver it, because nothing is moving down there.
The point here is, I’m not exactly feelin’ it–“it” meaning just about anything. Last night, “it” referred to working out. I do a brief, but intense 20 minute interval training thing a few times a week, but it was cold, I was tired and my chest was a little tight, so I didn’t feel like it.
Of course, if I only worked out when I felt like it, I’d be pulling down one session every fortnight, if that.
Now I’m not the type of person who buys into inspirational quotes. I feel like saying “If you believe in yourself, you can do anything” discounts the impressive number of times that I was sure I wasn’t capable of something but pulled it out of my ass anyway.
So while I laid on the bed and lazily scrolled through my Twitter feed, hoping I’d find a good reason to skip my workout, it wasn’t “You can do it, just believe in yourself!” running through my head. It wasn’t “C’mon, exercise will help keep your blood sugar stable and maybe clear out some of that stuff in your chest!” It was this:
Any motherfucker can do it when they feel like it.
I don’t remember where I first heard that or who said it but I think it was in reference to setting good writing habits (and I’m sure it didn’t contain the word “motherfucker”). And it’s true: pretty much anyone can write when they’re inspired, but if I waited around for the mood to strike me, my book would still just be a bunch of notes and voice memos on my phone and you can be goddamn sure that you wouldn’t be reading this right now.
But I think that advice works for just about anything. Anyone can knock out a workout when the mood is right, but what matters is what you do when the mood has passed and it’s just you and the weights. Pick ‘em up and see what happens.
If “what happens” is your body tells you to go fuck yourself, that’s fine. As long as you put in a real honest effort to do whatever it is you feel needs to be done—exercise, writing, housework, getting out of bed—it’s okay to come up empty. If it’s not there, it’s not there; give it a try some other time and see what comes out. Maybe you only get a little bit of a result and that’s okay too—something is better than nothing. That’s not to say that life is ever going to give you an A for effort—you have to earn that shit—but effort is usually a good start (not too much effort though—smarter, not harder).
So I got a workout in last night. And if this were some flowery, feel-good bullshit blog, that would be the end of it. But I feel like we’re all friends here, so I’ll tell you that something—be it the workout, the fact that I sleep like an asshole or some combination of the two—has made it so that I can’t fully turn my head to the right today, even if I feel like it. Hell, at this point, just sitting up to type is making me feel the burn. There’s something to be said for knowing your limits.