I was sitting in the office the other day and Tanya said something my father used to always say that made me think about the exact choice we’re making every time we come into the gym. “Either you pay me now or pay me later.”
So often we come into the gym with this defeatist mentality. “Ugghh burpees.” “Uggh running.” “Ugggh I can’t even do pull-ups.” “Ugggh I’m gonna die today.” Sure, we say that in jest most of the time, but as they say every joke contains some truth. And through those jokes is just one more day of “uggh” before I start skipping workouts and then stop going to the gym altogether. Then there’s the people who won’t even step into a CrossFit gym for fear of injury. I’ve had 4 arthroscopic surgeries since I began doing CrossFit. I’m 100% sure that has deterred my friends and family from ever setting foot in the gym.
I’ve done over 2000 CrossFit workouts since I’ve been in the community. There’s plenty of workouts I absolutely LOATHE doing. They’re just not enjoyable and not fun. I’ve also injured myself in a very serious manner more than most. Recovering from surgery is not fun. It’s painful. Your joints take time to feel normal again and even when they do, trusting them between the ears is a whole other hurdle.
However, the question remains, what’s the alternative? This is the point of pay me now vs pay me later that NEVER gets mentioned when we’re loathing workouts or staying away from the gym completely.
The alternative is the modern American. Overweight, on serious medications, with major health complications by age 35. What does this lead to? It leads to major medical bills by the time you’re 50. It leads to perhaps needing assistance for basic everyday life activities by the time you’re 60.
I may have arthritis in my joints, but all the work I’ve put in the gym is going to prevent the pain in my joints well into my 60s and 70s. But is that better than not doing anything only until one day you get out of breath just walking to the mailbox? Is that better than skipping the gym everyday and eating oreos only to eventually need a machine to keep your kidneys functioning? I would say it is.
There’s a price you’re going to pay stepping into the gym every day. 100%. Results take work and effort and habit building takes discipline. I don’t continually show up for workouts I don’t like because I’m a glutton for punishment. I show up for workouts I don’t like because I’m not going to let the workout dictate my behavior. My behavior dictates the action because the action is a priority. Could it lead to a busted shin or some pain in my shoulder? Sure. It could even lead to surgery. But there’s a price to pay for NOT being in the gym and NOT eating a diet of whole foods. And I believe that price to be way more costly and way more painful.
“One ounce of prevention is worth a pound of the cure.”