workout selfie

I've Never Worked Out Much Before, But Now It's My Favorite Activity

At midnight, for 30 minutes, my carpeted bedroom transforms into a workout studio. Complete with my clock’s stereo system, a spotlight from my desk lamp, and live radio DJs—my room temporarily becomes Studio Quarantine.

This new interest in late-night leg raises and side planks began spontaneously. After wasting away my first week back home (and realizing I wasn’t going on campus anytime soon), I made a mental change. I vowed to exercise for a minimum of 15 minutes every day. I wanted a six-pack, and self-isolation gave me an excuse to start. So, I started my home gym subscription like many others and began self-improvement.

In the past, I would experience random bouts of energy where I go to the gym for a straight week, feeling energized and expecting immediate results. Eventually the fire would die, and I would knowingly ignore the gym and how it made me feel. In fact, I think these are thre three levels that all gym rats undergo.

Honeymoon Phase

The first stage is the honeymoon phase. When we first pick up a new hobby, it’s riveting, it’s exciting. You book your tickets for a cruise around the Caribbean. That getaway is equivalent to your first spinning class. After the fourth class, the desire quickly fades and begins to feel like routine. If you continue to book the same sightseeing tour of the Bahamas, you’ll begin to crave something new.

Lost at Sea Phase

As that once enjoyable exercise begins to feel like cruel and unusual punishment, you have reached the lost at sea stage. You begin to question, “why did I even start doing this?” or saying “I’ll work out later,” and your decision changes.

I admit that I often quit here. The fun subsides, and you begin to reconsider the commitment this new lifestyle requires. This is a common phase where you begin to question your progress and quitting may feel like the easiest option.

Home at Last Phase

If your able to surpass that phase, you’ve reached the home at last stage. Finally, you leave the endless rotation around the Caribbean and your shaky sea legs unite with the ground. You are home. You’ve reached a point where your encouraged by your current and future progress. This is once you have surpassed the 18th day mark.  

According to a 2009 study, it takes 18 to 254 days to create a habit, as published in the European Journal of Social Psychology. An amazing journey has just begun, and I can’t wait to see your inner and external growth.