Forrest Gump may have said that life is like a box of chocolates, but I beg to differ. It’s more like a box of workouts.
Let me explain …
It’s well known that working out makes you feel good. But exercise, if you stick with it, can do more than just pump out endorphins after a killer boot camp or great run. It can bleed over into all areas of your life outside of the gym, teaching you so much more about yourself — and even life itself. In fact, like Forrest Gump says about chocolates, I believe that working out is just one big metaphor for life.
This dawned on me the other day when I was doing a particularly challenging workout at my gym. I wrote all about the workout and my aha moment over on The Huffington Post recently (check it out here), but I think it bears repeating that working out isn’t just physical; it’s mental.
No matter the workout or physical goal, learning to push past your mental boundaries, learning to stick with something to see results even if it’s not totally what you want in that exact moment, getting to be okay with feeling uncomfortable (and maybe even a little fearful!) so that you can grow — these are all important life lessons. And you can practice them all during workouts. No matter if your workout is hard-core, easy-going or anything in between, you’re training more than just your body. It’s easy to forget or lose sight of, but it’s true.
So the next time you’re in the middle of a workout and want to quit, think of the practice and confidence you’re building for your life outside of the gym. The next time life throws you a curveball and you’re struggling, just think of how strong you really are, inside and out. Sure, with life and, yes, even chocolate, you never know exactly what you’re going to get, but I know one thing for sure: your time in the gym is probably going to be a lot more life-changing than just a few pull-ups and squats. So use those Forrest-Gump-esque lessons to fuel your workouts — and your life.
Is life like a bunch of workouts for you, too? What life lessons have your workouts taught you? —Jenn