I saw a commercial over the weekend that made me cringe. A man’s deep voice narrated in doomsday tones: Women over 40 have to work out an hour every single day in order to not gain weight. He may as well have said they have to swim through a boiling tar pit infested with alligators and rats.
First of all, I don’t know that I buy that statement, but that’s not the point of this little rant. And maybe the way most folks eat, for all I know it could be true. But. Here’s my point. The guy selling, of course, diet stuff (I think it was smoothies) made working out sound like the worst punishment ever. And that’s just sad. Anyone with that outlook has never had a coach look at them and say, “We’re going to try something fun — don’t worry, I’ll catch you.” They’ve never sprawled on the floor after completing something they thought they couldn’t possibly do, brimming over with pride in their accomplishment and reveling in their quivery muscles. They’ve never found out that they are limitless.
Also this weekend I saw my nephews and niece playing outside. Running, jumping, throwing, catching, just generally having a the time of their lives — all while moving. It wasn’t punishment, it wasn’t something to be endured, or checked off a list. It was just pure, simple fun.
And hoisting myself up to a pull-up bar hung from a rafter in a garage, bracing my feet onto a shelf, and pulling my weight up first on one side of the bar, then on the other, while trying to keep my body in a straight line, was fun like that. I didn’t fall, but if I had, my coach would have caught me. It was simple recess kind of fun — it’s even called a chimp row — and yeah, it happened to be part of my workout. It wasn’t punishment. I did it because it made me happy. It will also make me stronger. What’s not to love?
So smoothie commercial dude, you can take your diet crap and may I suggest you find something creative and fun to do with some 50lb boxes of it? And stop scaring women away from working out. We don’t need you.