It’s a wet, cold Monday night in February. I had planned to go to the gym as part of my three-day training routine.

But the house is warm and the sofa is…responsive. It’s old, it knows how I like things, it encourages me to slouch like the evil soft furnishings monster it is. I start to calculate how if I don’t go tonight, I can go tomorrow night and two days after that and I’m back in my routine again. Easy.

After all, one night missed. It’s not going to hurt. Right?

Sofa apathy. What’s not to love? (Images by Unsplash)

But then I waver. What if it’s raining tomorrow night? I’d definitely have to go because I missed tonight and I’d look back at my 24-hour younger self with a resentment bordering on hate.


So I pull myself off the sofa, partly because I’d be fearful of tomorrow night’s hatred, but mainly because I’ve made a commitment to my regular training habit. And that’s the key, commitment always trumps motivation because motivation can come and go. But if you’ve made a commitment to yourself, you do it whether you want to or not.

There is also the learned knowledge from years of backing out of a routine that it is a slippery slope to self-loathing. Slippery slopes and self loathing, it’s my thirties all over again!

So just go to the damn gym!

I get dressed in to my training clothes (so far no sponsorship deal) and try to block out any thought process that will convince me to stay. I turn out the light and head out of the front door. It’s drizzly, and cold, and everybody else is settled in their warm, comfortable houses. Putting on weight, I remind myself.

By now I’m in the car and that’s even colder so I get the engine turning, knowing full well it will be frustratingly warmed up just by the time I get to the gym.


As I pull out of my driveway I know the battle isn’t yet over, but I’ve landed a potentially fatal blow to apathy. I afford myself a self-satisfied smile. Before I know it, I’m pulling into the gym car park. I park as near to the door as possible, knowing full well one of the hardest and most difficult parts of all of this is still to come – the walk in the rain and the cold from my now heated car, to the gym entrance.

Once out of the car I stride swiftly to the gym doors, sidestepping the two people trying to come out at the same time I’m trying to get in. I can’t take any prisoners now, I have to get in at all costs.

And then I’m there! I’ve made it!

The sofa beaters rock it

As I saunter triumphantly to the cross trainer, I glance around to everyone else in there; the smooth latex brigade; the tattooed muscle men with their huge biceps and even bigger beer bellies; the casual poseurs on the treadmill tuned to the steady beat of the playlist plugged into their ears; to the late middle-aged men trying to address years of neglect by an attempted and ungainly burpee.

And back home, my sofa settles for defeat, safe in the knowledge that in three days-time, another battle will commence.


  1. I can relate to this so well. The struggle is real. More than half of the battle is a mental hurdle, but I make myself. At my age, it’s not about how I look, though I admit I’ve got a bit of ego. The thing that gets me off the couch is dreaming that I won’t be able to enjoy my future grandkids (our son is newly engaged) and will be too old to get off the damn couch.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have some very sound reasons to get off that couch. Also, once you’ve made progress by going regularly it’s not a good feeling letting it all go again. Let’s make a pact to keep it going and sacrifice the sofa!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You’ve summed up the battle between comfort and commitment well!

    My view with missing gym sessions is it’s okay to miss the odd workout now and again but avoid missing two in a row as it becomes a habit!

    Liked by 2 people

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