Getting over the hurdles


After a day of work (and a private Hebrew lesson) I am mentally and physically tired. I would like to get something to eat, and collapse in bed, early. I should go to the gym, or do some exercise, but I don’t feel like it.

I don’t feel like it.

I stop, think, and take stock. (One brain, still functioning…) What does “I don’t feel like it” really mean? Am I physically incapable of doing some exercise? No. I may be tired – as in not fresh – but it’s hardly been the day from hell. So “I don’t feel like it” is not a physical feeling, it’s a mental thing; a state of mind.

Was my day so mentally (or emotionally) draining? No.

What is going on?

I have been here before. Somewhere, deep (or maybe not so deep) in my personality, there’s a barrier to doing exercise. A hurdle, if you like. It’s purely mental, doesn’t seem rational (given how much good the exercise does me) but never gives up. The same damn hurdle appears again and again and again. But even though I should know it for what it is, sometimes I let the hurdle win.

Tonight, however, I didn’t. I went out for a ride to Herzliya and back, returning drained, but happy.

It’s worse when I am on my own. It’s a big advantage having Susan interested in biking and going to the gym, as she is a great encouragement in clearing that hurdle. I know she experiences a similar stay at home temptation, and benefits from my prompting. We are a big help to one another.

I do, however, confess to being curious as to the psychology behind this. Why does the hurdle keep coming back? Why, even when I recognize it for what it is, do I sometimes let it win? Does it mean I am prone to being lazy? Is it getting worse with old age? Questions, always questions. Where would we be without them?