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Wellness

Why I Don’t Exercise

I have lost my desire for exercise, and if I don’t do something about it, I’ll die. As we learned in high school, you can’t become a superhero by exercising. Your workout may make you temporarily stronger but it does not make you a superhero. For those who have exercised, you must have the strength to stick with it. For those who haven’t exercised, I encourage you to be stubborn with your decisions. You don’t have to be super to lift heavy things.

As the year went on, I became a better runner, and then a better golfer. I was on a mission to be a “normal” person. I would do the dishes and do chores and clean up after my kids, be in and out of sleep for long periods of time, do the dishes, cook and clean dishes, etc. As I was going about my daily workaday routine of working, cooking, laundry, cleaning my house and doing other chores, I became aware of a very real difference in my life. My productivity as a wife, mother and friend had been going through the roof, while my productivity at work had been steadily declining over the previous year. I had lost my desire to be productive. I was a zombie. Every single thing I did took so much time, energy, emotional energy and focus from my husband and son that my whole day, from morning to night, became a long, monotonous process. I had to choose to be productive, or just go to sleep. I don’t think I could have had a normal day. I would often miss important activities I was supposed to be doing because I was so tired that day that I would just lie in bed for a couple hours before being able to do anything else. This was a big challenge for me because I was always so engaged.

As I became a better golfer, I was able to maintain a more reasonable schedule, although there was still some time and effort required to keep me motivated. Golf is work, and there are a lot of hours in a day. Still, as much as I miss the work that goes into my professional career, I’m glad that I never have to spend time at work. We don’t have to work to pay our bills and we know where the money is coming from. I have the luxury of being able to choose what I want to do when. I don’t have to be productive to meet my financial needs. I want my hours at the office to be filled with more fun, exciting research.

One thing I will stress is that it takes so much energy to exercise and run, and so little to just sit in bed and rest. It is very, very difficult to stay motivated when you are tired all the time. Even if you don’t exercise or go for a walk, your muscles will need some rest to recover. If you keep your mind focused on more important things (like cooking and cleaning) you can still work effectively.

As the calendar went on, my motivation to work on the farm and grow was almost non-existent. The lack of motivation was so great that I often went into weeks without doing even one thing I was supposed to do. I was too lazy to try. I felt guilty for not working, but I didn’t get any better at what I was doing. Once a week, sometimes more, but not enough to make a difference in my productivity and my work performance.

We had just had our fifth son and had just been named the top-selling farm in the South. I was at the top of the sales charts in the South, and I was able to attract a lot of new customers. At the bottom of the lists I had the older kids, my husband, my mother, my two dogs, and my grandmother, who I hadn’t seen in over 15 years. We always had a lot of people asking about our farm. They knew everything that I did, and I had to make sure I gave them the best information I could. I had a little voice inside saying, “You don’t have to do this, go play or do something else.” I always had that voice saying this, but I would be so embarrassed to admit it that I would put all of the attention on doing the best I could.

I felt so guilty for not doing what I was supposed to do that I started to ignore my urges to go do the things that I could not keep my hands off of.