[Posted by Crabby]
There are probably lots of people who don't spend 95% of their workout time analyzing every aspect of it. Some people "just do it." It's time to exercise: they exercise. Maybe they listen to some music or monitor their heart rate or whatever, but they go through the list of things they need to do without much thought and then they're done.
Some of us, however... well, we don't have the kind of brains that want to shut up and "just do" anything. We prepare ourselves; we dread certain aspects; we strategize about how we'll get through it. Then when we actually "do it," we often have feelings about it. And observations, and opinions, and questions, and ruminations, and epiphanies.
By some strange coincidence, many of us
So do any of you find you have an excessive number of thoughts and opinions about working out, even though it's supposed to be more of a physical than a mental endeavor? Or is it just me?*
I have favorites. Not just when it comes to "big" things, like whether to be a runner or a ballet dancer or a dodgeball player. I mean I have a favorite water bottle, a favorite workout bra (the one with the inexplicable rust stain on the strap), a favorite direction to head around the reservoir (counterclockwise). I have a favorite workout temperature (cold enough to need an overshirt at first so I can peel down when I warm up) and a favorite time of day (first thing in the morning). I have favorite stretches (too hard to describe) and strengthening exercises (chest press and row; legs are the worst). In fact, I could list in order of relative loathsomeness every weight lifting exercises, aerobic activity, and stretch I've ever done. (Don't worry; I won't).
I notice how energetic (or not) I'm feeling; how good or bad the music is; how the equipment feels (well-maintained or crappy). I will have a general idea idea of how long I'm going to work out and what I'm going to do and in what order, but this plan will be actively monitored and questioned and whined about and re-evaluated the entire time. Sometimes I do more and sometimes I do less and sometimes I don't mess with it, but even if I don't, I'll seriously consider messing with it.
And if there is anyone working out nearby, or running past on the trail, or even sitting around in a provocative way? Well, I will certainly have opinions about them too. For example, have you ever noticed someone running along in a way that you know is going to cause them big problems down the line? They're swinging their left foot out in a huge arc, or they're sproinging way up in the air every step like a gazelle--don't you just want to flag them down and explain what they're doing wrong even though they would probably NOT appreciate you pointing out they're running all freakishly and are going to have knee problems some day?
Anyway, I don't know if this "think everything to death" style is a bad thing or not. In any event, there does not seem to be an "off" switch I can locate, despite many earnest but unsuccessful attempts to find it. Good music and endorphins will sometimes muffle the chatter a bit--but even then, I will often find myself narrating my "runners high" and analyzing every aspect of it and not just simply experiencing it.
What about you guys? Are any of you "mental" like me when you exercise?
*(And yeah, this post was written in the first person. Why? What does it mean? Will this become a permanent change? Answers: I don't know. Hope it's not too weird out of the blue like that).