Si muove

A friend posted a link on Facebook from the Seattle Times called Exercise will change your life, and here's why.

The article is good, but that wasn't what really caught my attention. What did was the sentence that my friend highlighted from the article: "People internalize an image of themselves as an exerciser or not." She then asked, Which are you?

Good question.

Do I have an image of myself as an exerciser? Not really. I have an image of myself as someone who sometimes exercises. I do a set of core strengthening exercises most weekdays, which helps my back. I take a 10-mile bike ride with hills (unavoidable in this city) when the weather is nice and when I make it a priority over other things, which is not often enough. I walk to do errands around town and kid myself that it's enough exercise. When I do these errands, I walk right by my fitness centre. I haven't hit the cross-trainer in many weeks. I read an article once that joked about the person's fitness club being one of their charitable contributions. At this point, that's pretty much what our fitness club is. Not good, for any number of reasons.

Self-image isn't static. It's possible to change how one sees oneself. Years ago, I could not envision myself without a cigarette in my hand. It was just part of who I considered myself to be. But I managed to reimagine myself as a person without a cigarette. That's when I was finally able to quit smoking.

So can I reimagine myself as an exerciser? No reason why not. Which is not to say that it will be easy. I find it easier to visualize myself as being magically in great shape. But I don't have that kind of magic. If I want to make that image come true, I have to internalize the exerciser image.

Thankfully, it's going to be easy today. After yet another stretch of below-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation (even for these parts), it's a gorgeous day. I see a bike ride in my very near future! But tomorrow when we're back to rain and a high of 14°C? Will I walk through those gym doors? Or will I find an excuse to do something else? Better get going on that visualization!

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