I Work Out – And I Refuse to Apologize for It

Running. Lifting. Snowboarding. Softball. Tennis. Hiking. Biking.

I work out. (Now…sing the song…you know you want to…)

Nearly every day I make time to work out. It doesn’t always fit into my schedule and sometimes things suffer when I force my workout into my schedule. I end up running behind schedule or someone has to wait for a ride. But here’s the deal. If I don’t work out—I’M FREAKING CRAZY.

My kids have learned it’s best to let mom go blow off steam in the gym or out on the roads for a run. When I’m being unreasonable my husband will toss my running shoes my way and say, “Why don’t you take some time for yourself and go for a run?”

On occasion I question why I’m working out. Is it an addiction? Am I putting myself first too frequently?

Who am I doing this for?

Then I remember. I can’t be the best me without self care. Part of my self care includes working out. Carving out time for myself is healthy. Teaching by example applies in multiple facets in this situation. Showing my children that being healthy is important as well as taking time for myself. Occasionally my kids will come to the gym with me. But more often than not I reserve my treadmill and lifting time as ME time.

Let’s be honest. I don’t love working out all the time. I force myself some days to get my butt out the door and to the treadmill. I don’t always enjoy running…but I LOVE the feeling when I’ve accomplished something. Even if it’s like today’s experience where I was late, didn’t get as much milage as I wanted, ended up being a bit late for my next appointment…. I’m still thankful I went. I know I’m working towards a healthier future.

I love feeling strong. I work out with a trainer who pushes me hard. He knows I can do more than I think I can do. And lifting has taught me about failing. It’s a mental shift from running. Failing while running isn’t an option – you have to end up back home or call for a ride…so one way or another you complete the path. Weight lifting….you want to fail. And that messes with my brain and has – still is – teaching me a lot about myself and limits. Learning to say, “SCREW IT!” to those limits and challenge myself is very …freeing.

I work out. For me.

To be a better me. What do you do for yourself?

Joy Hedding

Joy aka Evil Joy is wife to one Dr. Evil and mother to four children she often refers to as spawn. Joy is a snowboarding fanatic and loves to share her exploits - snowboarding and otherwise - on Instagram. She currently spends copious amounts of time taxiing her children from one place to another. Frequently funny, always honest, and occasionally serious Joy blogs about everything from dealing with messy teenagers to navigating life after PTSD. Joy has been published in the anthologies "Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor" and "Only Trollops Shave Above the Knee" and has been featured on Sammiches and Psych Meds and UrbanMommies.com. Her blog is Evil Joy Speaks and you can find her on Facebook and on Twitter.