Why workouts are better without the gym.

Don’t get me wrong—I love the gym. The gym is where I taught myself to work hard, to work consistently, and to pick up more techniques. It’s full of people who make me look fat or wimpy. It’s available in all types of weather and typically full of people who try new things and display the results by just being in the room.

Gym workouts are easily drawn out longer than outdoor workouts, at least for me. The personal televisions allow time to speed by as I ask myself questions: “How much weight did the blue team loose this week?” “Will he choose the cool girl or the annoying one?” and “Will Richard get the cop to like him?” Plus, as an English major, I’ve found that it is much easier to read while on the treadmill than it is on a walk along a lake path. From a spectator’s perspective, reading while walking a trail is as close as I am to running a marathon right now; some people see me and think I’m crazy, and other people admire my courage and ambition.

Some people are gym members for life. That’s great—if you can truly afford it. I tend to doubt gym goers, though. Many gym goers believe that they should invest where there heart is and therefore the money commitment will reflect the value ranking. However, there are many who workout outside the gym, more often than gym goers, and simply pay for tennis shoes a couple times a year (or, if they are like me, they budget in ITunes songs as well).

The reason I dropped the gym (besides the fact that I’m broke) is because I love to be independent. I would love to say that I got fit all by myself. I want to get out there to prove to myself– and not other gym members or insurance companies– that I could do it. I love gravel beneath my feet. I love fog. I love sunshine and clouds. I love cobble. I love the lake. I even love toads. Also, the occasional mouthful of gnats is sometimes better placed than some television commercials.

Although, I can’t say I’m a huge fan of heat advisories.

I have been trying to jog/walk 25 miles a week. Last week I made it to 21, but there was 8 miles of rollerblading in there. One of the days I jogged 5 miles in humid 85 degree weather. Yuck! It was the first time running this year that I was literally dripping with sweat. But I did see a couple friends drive past me, so that was a bonus. Yes, I know that was a contradiction since I just told you I don’t like the gym because I don’t need accountability/familiar faces.

I know that 5-6 weeks of practicing something makes a habit. But I have been running consistently for three and I am already getting cravings. This week I am at 11 miles. Today I ran with sore legs in 85 degree weather after dinner at 9pm. I am looking forward to the day where I can spring out of bed in the morning with energy, ready to burn in my legs. The day I can spring out of bed at 7a.m. and jog three 9.5 minute miles in a blizzard will be the day I completed my goal with running. By then, I should be in love with it. But if that day never comes, hopefully I’ll have found another fascinating exercise hobby that keeps my mind and body sane.

But I am willing to try many different workouts. After all…everything’s good in moderation.

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2 Responses to Why workouts are better without the gym.

  1. Workouts without the gym can be pretty outstanding. Some time when I get back, I’ll have to take you on a non gym, non PFT work out. 😉

    And maybe even attack your room at 0430 and drag you along for a 3 or 4 mile run at 9 min miles, or perhaps even 8:30!!

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