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Make it hurt

April 7th, 2011

Nothing is more comfortable and relaxing than lying in bed under the covers and watching some light television or sleeping. So a lot of people ask what my motivation is to get out of bed in the middle of winter at 6:30 a.m. when it is four degrees outside in order to run.

The answer to this is simple: life is not always about being comfortable and relaxing. Sometimes, it’s important to make it hurt. As they say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I’m all for that philosophy.

With increasing technology these days, it has become easy to live life as a sloth. There is no need to walk anywhere anymore. I mean, food can literally be delivered to your door if you want. People work from home, and the Internet makes it easy to communicate (though superficially) without ever leaving the confines of your home.

On top of this life of convenience, we have added things like video games, Facebook, Twitter and the like. These trivialities pretend to occupy our minds, making it possible to be completely idle for hours at a time without even noticing it.

Many people claim that these are just the fruits of an advanced society. How distastefully ironic! This plushy world that we live in has bred a generation of obesity and sluggishness that is embarrassing to be a part of.

Granted, there are certain people who have some condition that makes it impossible for them to maintain an average weight. This is understandable and must be addressed with sympathy.  But this is not the case in a majority of the situations. Overwhelmingly, people are fat because we let them be. This is not okay.

It has gotten to the point where people expect comfort and ease. That is not the world we were given. Although I do not condemn modern commodities, I think that they often make life too easy.

We need to get up and move. Even when it would be easy to just watch TV in our beds, it really wouldn’t hurt to make it hurt. There is one thing more comforting than actually being comfortable … knowing that you are greater than you thought you could be.

There are a lot of ways to achieve this feeling of self-fulfillment and accomplishment. In my opinion, the best way is exercise. I’m not suggesting spending half an hour in the gym. That’s not even worth it. I’m suggesting something that pushes your body to the limits, whatever that means for you; something that afterward leaves you wondering if you’re alive or not. Because once you realize you are in fact alive, you will feel more empowered than you ever imagined.

Granted, my perspective may be a bit biased. On “easy” days, I run at least nine miles at what I consider a relaxing pace. On “hard” days, I run around the track in circles. A lot. Fast. Just because I am biased does not mean I am wrong, though. On the contrary, I feel that my experience with this kind of physicality makes me an authority on the subject.

We can’t afford to live the way we do. Being fat can no longer be an option. It will literally destroy us. It shouldn’t be okay for us to look in the mirror and be content with an unhealthy figure looking back. Obesity is a reflection of laziness, and laziness is a reflection of apathy.

If we don’t care about our bodies (the only thing we have to live with from birth to death) then I don’t know how it’s possible for us to care about anything else. We will deceive ourselves into complacency, and complacency breeds failure.

Failure can’t be an option. The only real solution is to push ourselves beyond our limits. We are capable of so much more than most of us think we are. Let’s get up and prove it. As Van Halen said, “We might as well jump.”