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?
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.
COLD CARS AND WARM NEIGHBOURS
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.
LET THE SMUGNESS BEGIN..
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!
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.