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Growing Pains

First off, I'd like to apologise for my (latest) absence from the blogging scene. Exams, studying and my own laziness have conspired to keep me from writing for nearly a month - but no longer!

Writing this post, in particular, is really painful for me. Not because of the subject matter, or because writing posts requires me to constantly bludgeon my poor, uncooperative brain for ideas - although at least one of those is a factor - but because I just joined the gym again, and my trainer seems to have no intention whatsoever of going easy on me until I get back into the swing of things.

On Monday, I had an arm workout. Today is Friday, and my eyes still well with tears every time I try to stretch my elbows. It's not even a one-time thing. Every time I come home from a workout, some part of my body is incredibly sore. Honestly, sometimes I think the only thing keeping me regular to the gym is some inherent masochistic streak.

The funny thing is that I don't mind it hurting. I go to the gym five days a week, I come back home five days a week about as sore as Humpty Dumpty in the aftermath of his famous fall, but I still go in the following day because it's fun. I enjoy being in the gym, I like the feeling of doing something to get physically fit. Even the pain isn't so bad. After all, if I don't feel at least a little sore, did I really exercise at all?

I don't like working out. In fact, I can barely stand the tedium of running on a treadmill for 20 minutes, or the endless repetition of a single move with a dumbbell. No, if I had to work out merely for the sake of working out, I doubt I'd have visited the gym more than once in my life. What I enjoy - what makes the sweat and the strain and the judgemental looks from the more adonis-esque,  muscle-bound members of the gym worth it - is the endorphin rush you get afterwards. I've never yet experienced anything that quite equals the sheer satisfaction of a good workout seen through to the end.

That's probably the biggest thing I've learned about working out, now that I think about it - working out because you want to get in shape, or see past your paunch, or even take your shirt off in public - doesn't really work. Sure, you'll stick with it for a few days, maybe a couple of weeks if you're particularly persistent, but then you'll abandon it, because you won't really see any results. What I've noticed, though, is that you yourself are never going to see the results. The change is so slow, and you look for it so regularly, that you don't really see it occur. You only discover the value of having spent a month planning your life around your gym time and diet when people ask you how you lost so much weight the following month.

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