Monday, October 18

The Danger Zone

I awoke this morning and greeted the day like I normally do, walking sluggishly with squinty eyes, tousled hair and shunning the light like a vampire.

The kids know not to pepper me with questions or ask for anything more complicated than tying a shoe. I'm simply not capable, or, more accurately, willing to help, at least not until I've had one cup of coffee. My sisters are the same way. It's apparently genetic.

After sending my darlings off to school I got down to the very serious business of finishing another cup of coffee and planning my day. The first item on my to-do list was workout. Should I go to the 8:15am cycle class or the 9:30am? I wondered. What I really wanted to do was neither and I could feel myself inching toward blowing off the whole thing.

Then in walks Michael. "You want to shop for the new bathroom vanity?" he asks me.

Ooh, shop instead of cycle, well, let me think about that for a second. Um, yes.

"Okay," I responded, "We can browse online now and I'll go to the 9:30 class."

Knowing myself, knowing that I'd fiddle around until I conveniently missed class, I set the timer on the oven to go off at 9:00am so I could run upstairs and change.

At the appointed hour, the timer dinged. God I don't want to go, I whined to myself. I'd way rather stay here in my jammies, drink another cup of coffee and decide if I want the cherry or mahogany finish on the vanity.

But I went upstairs, changed, and made it to class. Barely, but I was there.

As always, I feel better when I'm done, happy that I made it to my workout.

This experience made me realize that there's a certain point during the morning where if I procrastinate long enough, I'll skip the gym. I coined this, The Danger Zone.

My Danger Zone is between 8am and 9am. By 8am I've already missed the early cycle class and sitting around the house until 9:30am gives me too much time to think of the multitude of reasons why today just isn't a good day to exercise. And believe me, I've got a huge list of excuses—dog needs a bath, I need a bath, laundry's piling up, article deadlines are looming etc. Any one of these has the potential to derail me. And sometimes they do. But more often than not they don't. I begrudgingly take my butt to the gym.

I conquer my lazy-wanna-sit-around-all-day self by asking some hard questions. "Do you really feel like you need a break today or are you just being a slacker?" "Can your to-do list wait an hour or is there a pressing deadline?" (Sometimes I really hate the type-A side of me. She's really annoying.)

But she's right.

If I'm honest with myself, most times I want to skip the gym simply because I don't want to go. I just don't want to go! That's it. Which frankly isn't a good enough excuse and I know it. So I suck it up and I go.

When's your Danger Zone? When do you start piling on the reasons for not working out, convincing yourself that today you simply cannot make time for the gym? Are they legitimate excuses or do you just not want to go?


  1. My reasons for not going to the gym this morning:
    1. I hate to sweat.
    2. I don't like being around sweaty people - they smell - the gyms full of them.
    3. I just ate a big omelet - not sure it's a good idea to go shaking that around.
    4. It's raining.

    Individually - these may not seem like legitimate excuses, but collectively, they make a pretty compelling argument.

  2. I’ve succumbed to the Danger Zone for about a month now. Must get back into the groove! Reading your blog for inspiration!