Brain Vs Body

Yeah yeah, I supposedly started again last month. That ended up being just one visit followed by a myriad of excuses and having settled into a routine of not going to the gym.

Well today I went back with the honest intention of breaking that habit and actually hitting my goal of going 3 times in a week. I’m not saying that can’t happen, but after today I’m less confident on how well that will go.

Talking about habits, I have a habit of associating certain activities with certain memories. A few examples:

I bring this up because I realised today that going to the gym and using certain machines in particular, has the same effect. And it’s not a good memory. Or rather, a feeling. I’ve mentioned in the past how I like to use the cycling machines as an opportunity to sit and think. Well they aren’t the only machines I did that on. It was all of them.

My problem is that on days when my mental health was not great, that would be what I predominantly thought about; meta-thinking about my thoughts and feelings. Today I realised that I now associate going to the gym and using those machines triggers those same thoughts. Or the memories of those thoughts?

So what do I do about this?
To be honest that has been bugging me all afternoon. I was hoping that writing out this post might help but other than re-capping the events in my head, I can’t say it has.

I keep thinking about what exact thoughts I experience; feeling like I am not doing as well as I should, or not doing enough. Being very aware of others around me in case someone else is waiting to use a machine I am on. Now that I think about it I don’t like people using the machine next to me.

A similar concept

The last few times I have been facing these feelings I’ve tried to focus on the ‘here and now’; counting how many reps I’ve done or hitting a specific speed or goal. That didn’t work today.

I actually gave up after an hour. Usually I aim for a couple of hours at the gym, but today I barely made it a full hour. I’ll defend myself here somewhat. I did go in knowing I haven’t been for a couple of months, and wanted to treat today as a benchmark. See what I was capable of, to give me something to beat. Even so, I had hoped to do more than I did.

But I gave up. I couldn’t face my brain in that moment.

What about next time?
I am planning on going again on Tuesday. Having made the realisation I have today, maybe I can go in with a frame of mine better suited to facing it.

Maybe I need to look at my mental health in general. Take a ‘mental MOT’ so to speak.


I know I need to ease myself back into going to the gym even 1 day a week and going right to 3 days a week is very much going 0-60.

It’s not like I’m going to tire myself out going for just an hour each time.

One thought on “Brain Vs Body

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