If there's one feeling I never anticipated experiencing, it was positive anticipation of a workout. Looking forward to a session at the gym. I could always understand enjoying playing a sport, and logically understand the benefits of going to the gym.
But somewhere along the way I realized that the sense of relief as I walk from the desk to the treadmill wasn't coming just from the sense that I was going to burn off a cupcake's worth of calories. I mean, I love cupcakes, but unless there was one waiting for me as I stepped off the treadmill, it wouldn't be enough to keep me putting one foot in front of the other.
Aside from powering through with pop music and visions of myself as Buffy the Vampire Slayer running through the high school with a half-demon mayor chasing me, what I look forward to in my work outs is the moment when the effort and the exertion pushes everything else out of my mind.
Sometimes I can reach this point on the treadmill, but I always reach it in the group exercise class immediately afterwards. Somewhere around the 7th rep of any given exercise, it becomes impossible to obsess about the meetings, the deadlines, and whatever other frustrations have accumulated throughout the day. All I can focus on is getting down from 3, to 2, to 1, and rest.
It's not easy for me to stop thinking. If I don't have something to listen to when I go to bed, it will take me forever to fall asleep because my mind just wanders from thought to thought and before I know it the alarm is going off and all I have to show for a night's rest is a collection of random ideas ranging from what to blog about next to who I really need to make sure to call before the end of the week.
So when I leave the gym, my muscles are worn out, but my brain feels refreshed, and ready to tackle that great blog idea...