I don’t like the phrase “working out,” because it conjures the image of a chore rather than a disciplined practice of something that has inherent value. However, this piece from Susi May at PopSugar is very good. Her experience mirrors my own love-hate relationship with running. I started jogging in 1975 at college, and I sucked at it. I also did not particularly like it, but I persevered because we were on the cusp of the Jim Fixx-Kenneth Cooper running craze, and I felt like I needed to balance all my time in the weight room with a cardio activity.

I added cycling (both road and mountain) later in life, but I kept jogging and at times actually running.  Ran a half marathon and a bunch of 5ks. Still never loved it.

Three years I ago, I began training Shotokan karate and replaced my conventional weights with kettlbells. The running had to go because it was just too hard on my legs with all the demands that karate imposed. However, it took me only a few months to realize that kettlebell training was just as good for cardio work as running was. So, that’s what I do; I reserve my outside time for long, nicely paced walks with my family. My legs are stronger than they’ve ever been. I don’t miss running, and I miss none of it benefits, which are obtainable via other means.

Don’t get lock into doing things that you don’t like. That’s a recipe for frustration and disappointment. The fitness world is huge. You can find something that you will like and that is adaptable to your needs. Don’t sell yourself short.

Working out is hard, and clearly finding something you love to do is key — mere toleration doesn’t work. There are so many ways to get strong, break a sweat, and burn calories. The benefits of regular exercise are proven, so don’t trap yourself in a bad relationship. Put yourself out there. Try new things. You can and will find something you love.