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Exercising Unemotional Passion

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Poker is an odd "sport" if you will. To play it well it takes skills like shrewd observation, math (remember being convinced in 8th grade algebra that you'd NEVER use it?), and the ability to keep your emotions totally in check. I've seen more players drown in "the river" (the 5th community card) because they couldn't let go of their emotional attachment to an Ace!
But despite the cold, steely veneer that we poker players try to project to keep our competition from reading us -- it takes a passion and love of the game to sit game after game and try to perfect these facets.

The same could be said for nursing. When in the midst a crisis situation, you HAVE to keep your cool. On a routine basis, I find myself calmly presenting diagnosis and treatment plans to patients with serious health issues like cancer without letting emotions cloud my judgement. It's a delicate balance -- staying "professional" while projecting empathy. Especially when inside you are crying out for the patient.

So here I am -- a passionate person who is adept at keeping my emotions in check.

When I started on my weight loss journey 5+ years ago, I realized that exercise was going to not just be a key component in my success, but THE key component. I had successfully lost weight through diet alone off and on for years but never kept it off. What was the common denominator? (Yes Mr. Heply -- my 7th grade math teacher -- I really was paying attention to what you were saying!) ---
No exercise

So I joined the Y and started dutifully going every night after work and working out. It's paid off. I am keeping the weight off. I've progressed from huffing and puffing up the two flights of stairs at the Y and walking on the treadmill to zipping up the stairs and RUNNING on the treadmill or the track.
But it can still be a struggle mentally. All my "sporty" athletic friends keep saying just wait, you'll develop a passion for exercise. Those endorphins will kick in and raise that serotonin and you'll LOVE it!

I'm still waiting...

I do it faithfully. It's habit. I acknowledge that there are many benefits that I receive from it. I'll keep doing it. It's like flossing my teeth -- except I never met a person who proclaimed to LOVE flossing.

But that's ok. I can bluff this one. The passion might not be there, but I'm sticking with it because I do have a passion for being thin. Looking good, feeling good. I might not get excited about doing it like I do nursing or playing poker, but I put on my best poker face --
The one that says I love this hand and I keep at it.

One last note, I found this clip on YouTube and just had to share it. Some of you might be familiar with Dick and Rick Hoyt already. I won't reiterate their story. Just watch the video and be sure to click on an interview link too.


For a woman who doesn't show a ton of outward emotions -- I found myself reaching for the tissues.

No matter how you feel about exercise, watching the Hoyt's story will inspire some passion in you -- I guarantee it! And maybe that will be enough to get you back on that treadmill...

As always--
Me :)

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm in the same boat. I was never an athlete as a kid and I hated exercise and team sports. I have that discussion with myself EVERY morning when the alarm goes off "Get up and workout or sleep in? One day off won't hurt... no, no - I should get up... 10 more minutes" you know the script. But it does get to be a little like flossing. I don't really like to floss much either but after doing it every night for umpteen years its tough to get into bed with unflossed teeth. It just doesn't seem right (OK- I know, a little OCD here). With exercise, I still don't love the thought of it but I am at the stage now where I realize that I feel better if I can get some kind of exercise into my day.
    2848 days ago
    Wonderful story...! Thx for sharing!

    Yes, I'm still waiting on those endorphins, etc. also...! I can really feel TERRIFIC in the middle of my efforts, however it still takes some mental PUSHING to get me going!

    2860 days ago
    Glad you made the connection that exercise is THE key. We don't have to love it but we sure can love what it does for us. Great job that you are doing
    2860 days ago
  • AL_ROX
    I get a runner's high but not every time I run. It is an awesome feeling when it comes!
    2861 days ago
    I like how you related poker to nursing and how some skills can be used in both. Those endorphin buzzes are AMAZING! I've always heard of "runners high" but never believed in it. But it is addicting once you start getting them. I feel euphoric and happy and it's 100% natural with no side affects and it's legal! Keep running and playing and studying poker! Lots of the newer poker books touch on the importance of eating right and exercising so you can be more focused for long periods during some of those tournament structures.
    2861 days ago
    Your blog is a great reminder to me that weight loss cannot be maintained by just dieting. I have lost weight many times in the past and mainly through dieting alone. This time around I am adding in the exercise component and I hope to lose the weight for good. Thanks for the link to the Hoyt story, it was very inspirational. emoticon
    2861 days ago
    Like you, I love being fit, thin, healthy more than I actually love exercise -- but I do treasure my daily walks, and enjoy the gym workouts. I am not one 'driven to reach new goals' with weights or # of reps, etc. I used to love my aerobic dance-type classes (as a student I found myself waking up thinking "Oh, I GET TO go to exercise today") but there aren't a lot of those around anymore (and frankly, after teaching the classes for years, I haven't found many teachers who meet my expectations - I know, that sounds bad -- but it's true). I quit teaching 'cause I didn't have enough ladies who wanted day-time classes and I was tired of so many evenings away from the family ... and so I opted for NO exercise for years, gained back all the weight I'd lost, and felt lousy. THIS TIME, the gym & my walks feel more in my control -- I can workout when it works best for me. That's freeing in many ways. The point is, coming to realize exercise is the KEY, not an option. I think I'm there -- and glad to be there!
    2862 days ago
    I like the treadmill, but only as much as the music I'm listening to, or the TV show I'm watching. But weight-lifting? That I love on all by itself. I don't even listen to my iPod while I lift weights. Great blog, as usual.
    2862 days ago
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