After blogging or tweeting about my day full of crazy workouts I often bite my lip waiting for someone to call be obsessed with exercise. It’s the one thing I have been scared to hear because I didn’t know how I’d respond.
I have the kindest, most supportive readers so the closest I’ve gotten to that was this comment on the conversational Movement post:
“I started to read your blog a little while ago and I have definitely noticed a change in the content and direction of your blog (which has probably coincided with many changes in you!). While I admire your dedication to fitness it seems to border on obsessional at times, your blog seemed a lot more “balanced” and “healthy” before, when you were blogging about lots of different things, not how many different workouts you’ve managed to cram into your day.”
No big deal if someone thinks I’m a little off-balanced, but this comment did spark some thought and conversation about exercise addiction- what it means and how much is too much.
My exercise habits have certainly changed. Just a year ago I would run 5 miles or take a bike ride and be perfectly satisfied for the day. I was a healthy, normal exerciser.
Then I started to run marathons, fell in love with yoga and met the Ironman. Things changed!
Now I work out a lot because I need to be prepared for some big goals (a full Ironman in October and a 50-mi. ultra marathon in December).
Also, when I see a free block of time in my schedule I think of what other activity I can fit in there. Sweating is just what I like to do most. Running clears my thoughts, cycling tires me out, swimming settles my mind and yoga balances my body.
I should probably mention that fitness is more possible for me thanks to my lack of other things. I haven’t had cable in years and even stopped watching shows online earlier this year. Up until recently (woop woop!) I was single.
So as I was justifying my workouts to myself and proclaiming how balanced I really am, a friend made a good point. She said:
“Of course you’re mildly obsessed. Would you reach huge goals if you weren’t?”
Don’t you want your doctor to be mildly obsessed with medicine?
Shouldn’t parents be mildly obsessed with parenting?
Maybe an Ironman should also be mildly obsessed with exercise.
Exercise addiction can be a real problem, but not everyone who exercises for hours a day has a problem. I’m working on being proud of my fitness level and future goals, even if they are extreme to some people.
Something to think about