“Keep Telling Yourself, ‘This Workout Feels Good’

My friend/housemate Steve sent me this awesome article by Gretchen Reynolds about the impact of positive self-talk on exercise performance. The approach of exhaustion is an interesting place to do research, and personally, I love pushing myself longer and further in my workouts.

So today, I tried to incorporate these findings into my workout, trying to ramp up the positivity in my workout. As it was a “nuclear arms” day, my own encouragement did keep me from quitting after my third set of dips. Because I believed that I could do them.

For me, I like to think of my workouts as games, where I’m… well, Link. Or She-hulk. Or, um, Donkey Kong. And I think of them as games that I’m good at, and I get to push into the “Hard” mode. In my workouts, there’s mini-quests and bosses to fight, and things to jump over, and all the components of an awesome game. And in my workout, I tried to imagine myself as “feeling good” and feeling “powerful.” My best friend and I said “Level UP!” more than once. 

 In my mind, there are plenty of roads that get you to the intensity of a good workout — that optimal place where you’re pushing at your max. I like pushing myself through positivity — I like trainers who tell me that I *can* do something, and that I just have to try it. I like being in a large group, and feeling everyone’s excitement to move together. I like working out with a partner, and knowing that they’ll spot me, and that they’re working hard with me. Adding that extra dose of positivity from myself definitely made the workout sweeter.

That doesn’t make me less sore right now.