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Inspired by Fit and Feminist and Good For Me Girl

I don’t like the term “working out.” It has so much negative connotation. Most people dread that word, and view it as a chore. Let me get on my soap box … 

If you can figure out how to “work out” doing something you enjoy, suddenly, “working out” isn’t a chore. It’s a treat. It’s something you look forward to. No more excuses. You work it into your schedule. Because you want to do it. It doesn’t feel like work.

I love running. I really do. (It took me a few months to get to that point though.)

Last night it was cold (high 30s), windy, and dark, but I ran 4.28 miles with my Monday night group. (Yes, outside. Layers! They work!) While running, we talked about upcoming races, and next year’s goals (marathons) and I don’t remember what else. The miles flew by, even with the wind. I always feel very blah at work on Monday, but I always know if I go to my group run, I will feel better. Awesome, even. So I went. And I did feel awesome.

I don’t look at running as “working out.” Because, as you can hopefully see from the above paragraph, it doesn’t feel like “work.”

Running isn’t a chore for me. It’s a treat. It’s fun. It feels great. It makes me feel great. It’s a way to challenge myself – and a boost to my self-esteem when I meet my challenges. It’s a way to meet new people. It’s a way to get outside, and see things – last night we enjoyed everyone’s Christmas lights! I’ll be so sad when those are gone in January. This past weekend, I ran a new trail through a forest preserve – and saw a waterfall! When was the last time you saw a waterfall? 45 minutes from home?

But running costs money. The clothes, shoes, Garmin, races, not to mention a gym membership. It adds up. It’s not cheap. We certainly have plenty of other, better (smarter) way to spend our money.

But you know what? I’m worth it. Are you worth it? I know who reads my blog (or at least comments), so I know I’m preaching to the choir, but how are you investing in your health? Because that’s what it’s about, investing in my physical and mental health.

Have you taken the time to find out how you like to move? Stop forcing yourself to work out in ways that you don’t enjoy. Because it’ll never stick. Everyone likes something. Maybe it’s not running. Maybe it’s swimming. Or dance class. Or a team sport. Or wall climbing. Or martial arts. Whatever it is, are you doing it? If no, why not? It’s an investment of time and money in yourself aren’t you worth it? (Spoiler: Yes!) It’s an investment that pays off so much in improved physical and mental health.

January 1, 2012 is coming up quick. Figure out what you enjoy and then make it your New Years resolution to do it.

Don’t forget: Donate $5 to the American Cancer Society and be entered into my FuelBelt raffle.