The Happy Gym

Your workout should be the best hour of your day.
In the next several weeks, you’ll try to get motivated. Others will try to motivate you. You’ll make resolutions, buy new shoes, write goals on your fridge. You’ll commit. You’ll post memes and read magazine articles about motivation. You’ll resolve, swear and promise.
And you don’t need to do any of it.
“Exercise until you’re happy” is a phrase my buddy Ray threw out last week (he’s developing a sustainable nutrition strategy for the kids he teaches.) Long-time exercisers like me already get this. Workouts aren’t work when you like them; they’re recess.
In another job, I write a lot about the effect of exercise on depression, anxiety and cognition. You’ve probably read about the “side effects” of exercise on each. But the brain isn’t second-fiddle to the body; the mind is primary. When your mind is busy, it’s happy. When your body is busy, it’s healthy. Why do we chase the second goal first?
Your gym should make you happy. When you like going to the gym, everything else falls into place.
When your workout feels like a game, you don’t need external motivation. You don’t need to get “fired up” to exercise. You don’t need a magical green drink to get excited.
When you work out WITH people instead of BESIDE people, you have fun together. You behave as a team. You become friends. Sometimes, it’s the most positive interaction you’ll have with another human all day.
When you’re coached, you don’t have to motivate yourself to do the hard stuff; it’s out of your hands. Follow along, do your best, high-five. That’s it.
The hard stuff–motivation, planning, sticking with it–is taken out of your hands when you focus on HAPPY. Exercise until you’re happy; that’s it.
Stuff that made me happy at the gym this week:
Bobby wearing his Santa suit to do the “12 Days of Christmas” workout. And then getting a barbell for Christmas.
Kids returning home to Catalyst during winter break.
Visitors from other CrossFit gyms.
Kubis’ first muscle-up.
The noon group on Christmas Eve. Wow.
Taryn’s Rx Murph. Karly, Adrianna and Tammy’s first Murph, and Heather’s PR. Shane and Erin doing Murph together.
Everyone buying Adrianne CrossFit for Christmas (“It’s all I wanted!”)
The new hoodies. Rad.
Coaching Sweat Factory on Tuesday while Cam was away.
Kids showing up on their winter break.
Babies galore at noon group. I think 6 infants is a new Catalyst record.
Chasing Jake on the last mile on Friday.
The Beilhartz extended family doing a Christmas workout together.

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