September 2010

Why We Workout

Author: Don Foxe


It is a decision that affects you, your family, and even those around you at work—if you follow through.

Maybe it would help if you knew why those of us who go to health clubs go there to work out. After all, you don’t have to join a health club to exercise—or do you?

We’re a pretty diverse group: men and women, young and old, business owners, employees, retirees and every race and creed. But, when we enter our club, all those labels simply drop away. We become family. It is one of the few places where you can still find that experience. Shared experiences, and shared expectations.

We each go to the club for our own reasons, each with our own personal commitment. Some of us are trying to shed a few pounds, while some are trying to shed the baggage that life has a way of heaping onto our sore backs. For many, the extra weight and the extra baggage seem to go hand-in-hand. But for all of us, when we change out of our “street clothes” and into our “gym clothes,” the burdens of life become lighter for a time.

We see friendly, familiar faces. We encourage others on their journey, and they, in turn, encourage us. We welcome new faces, and we help them feel like they are a part of our fitness family, because we were also a new face once. We share our experiences and knowledge and learn from theirs.

We would be lying to say it is always easy. It isn’t. Some days the excess baggage is so heavy, it almost drags us under. The alarm goes off too early. On some days, turning left to go home instead of right to go to the club seems like the easier choice. But we get up, we get our bag, and we go to class. We make that turn towards the club—the right turn—because we were once where you are now: unsure. We know now the rewards of exercise, and we recall the sorrows we suffered before exercise became a regular part of our lives. We made that step you are considering, and we followed through.

When the alarm goes off, we put our feet on the floor, we leave our baggage on the shelf, and we turn to the club. Every time we continue to follow through in this way, the baggage becomes lighter, the mind and the body become stronger, and we take another step towards a better and more fulfilling life.

It’s true, we do march to a different drummer; we make no excuse for that. We’re the exception in today’s society, where most people would rather not exercise; where excuses override reasons; where taking personal responsibility for your own way of life is an endangered concept. We know that many people cannot understand our persistence, and we also know many wish they had that same persistent attitude. We each found our own answer for why we must exercise, and you are at that tipping point in your life.

Do you really want to continue the same old routines you’ve been living until now? It would be easier. But what brought you to this point where you are really, seriously, considering making a change?

Please know this one thing. We’ve been where you are. There is a better way, and like any long journey, it begins with a first step. Go try a health club for a week; the people who work there and work out there are the same as you. They want to help; we all want to help. And should you decide to take the step, know that you (and your drummer) will be welcome.

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