All. And I,  just. And all. And I, just.

 

What is it?

 

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What is it?

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reflections

Exercise motivation

Pondering on motivation to behave in ways or perform actions that are deemed necessary or normal by society but feel distinctly unpleasant. For some, including me, exercise is a good example.

For instance, there is nothing I find less appealing than running 100 metres repeatedly during a Physical Education class in 35 degrees Celcius and yet as a child, this is exactly what we were made to do and it was deemed necessary, healthy even. It’s almost not worth the effort, in words or in angst, to think or write about how futile that all seems nows. Suffice to say, running is not my favoured form of exercise.

I think that most people prefer to partake of healthy activities that they enjoy. Perhaps someone should try and work that angle into anti-obesity or national health campaigns. We should ask ourselves why exercise is so unpleasant and why so many of us avoid doing it.

Thinking back to running the 100 metres and always coming last… Did it never occur to our curriculum designers that running around in 35 degrees is just too much like hard work? I’m a firm believer that running is a survival strategy. Running probably figured highly in the exit planning of primitive man and ranks near the top for most other animals. So, you say- it makes sense to run [in the context of exercise] to practice and to better the odds of surviving an attack by prey. Well friend, I say that in all honesty, with water rationed during the hot dry season, this H. sapien would have been sitting somewhere cool, out of the sun, waiting for the temperature to drop before foraging or hunting animals. The animals were probably following the exact same pattern of activity and behaviour.

PRACTISING RUNNING AWAY?! What a waste of time and energy.

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checkpoint

Motorway services

Right now, I am stuck in a motorway service station. I’m near the front door; next to the cheating grab toy machine that no one ever uses and I don’t know how I ended up here, and I don’t have an exit strategy.

You know the one; just off that big motorway, with the mini version of a posh supermarket right next to WH Smith. That coffee place and not the fast food chain you never go to but the other fast food chain you never go to, just round the corner from the games arcade where no one ever spends any money.

It’s an awful feeling. As metaphors go, I think the motorway service station is probably grossly underused – for obvious reasons – but it perfectly describes where I am right now and so much so that I am playing with the feeling. In theory, motorway services are meant to be havens of food, water and rest. The place you feel safe and happy pulling into on a long journey. Where the welcome break (ahem) from self imposed in-car-hell or heaven can be ritually broken. Where toilet breaks are free and clean(ish).

Suddenly, all colour, taste, temperature and desire vanishes as the scales fall from your eyes and the truth is revealed. The problem is that once the novelty wears off, motorway services are inherently miserable, bleak places on the road to nowhere for everyone. This isn’t a haven of modern convenience, this is a transitory hell – this is purgatory. You prefer not to spend money and generally the lighting makes you feel like the world is devoid of colour. This place could have been built in the 70s, you don’t even know what year it is anymore. All you know is this; you are coming from nowhere, going to anywhere for something and you’ve stopped because you/a fellow traveller is/are hungry/thirsty/tired/pressed/angry/upset (delete as applicable) and the stop will take as long as it takes.

That’s where I am right now.

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