It's All About Mindset

Recently, we took our annual family vacation. This is different than a trip the girls and I take or one of our getaways with friends. This vacation involves all of us–the girls and I, all of the children and their significant others and an “adopted” child or two. A destination is picked, a house rented and then the planning begins. This year, we visited historic Savannah. This has actually become one of my favorite locales–outside of Disney, of course–and I’m even considering it as a backdrop for some of my stories.

Now, part of the reason I love the historic district so much is that you park your car and walk everywhere. For a man who hates traffic, it’s the perfect area. Everything we need is right there, including a grocery store. And the crazy part is I look forward to walking each day. We’d wake up, have breakfast and then go exploring. We averaged ten miles a day just in that little area that takes about fifteen to twenty minutes to cross. We also had the added hurdle of avoiding tour groups and trolleys. By the end of the day, our legs were sore and we were exhausted, but it felt great.

It’s the same when we go to Disney. We are there from open to close and, as anyone who has been to an amusement park can tell you, you spend 80% of your time either walking or waiting in line. Our muscles ache; we’re tired, but we’re not complaining because we’re doing what we want to do with people we want to do it with. Char even has a pedometer she wears on our trips that counts our steps and brags about how much we’ve walked as we’re leaving the park. It’s only then that my body screams what an idiot I am.

However, on a normal morning as I am lacing up my walking shoes, my whole body fights against the exercise I am about to force upon it. Two minutes into my walk and I already want to turn around and go home. Five minutes in and my legs start telling me they’re about to go numb and fall off. Even with music blaring in my ears, I have to constantly give myself a pep talk that people walk all the time and survive. I scold myself when a little old lady struts past me and fight the urge to take her out. It really is pathetic what I go through making myself exercise.

Yet, it’s because I don’t want to do it. My ever-fattening belly isn’t enough motivation to simply walk the fifteen minutes to the beach and back again. I wear myself out just getting out the door. As a matter of fact, my legs hurt just writing about it.

But it’s all in my mind. My brain associates walking around Savannah and Disney as an adventure, something to be enjoyed. It sees walking for exercise as, well, exercise, something to be endured. One is a pleasure while the other is a chore.

It’s the same with everything we do. How we view it will determine its effect on our body and spirit. Go into something with a negative mindset and you’re more than likely to get negative results. However, go in with a positive outlook and you’ve already overcome half of the battle. Now I just have to make myself positive about exercise.

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