Alternate title: Control – Not just a 90s hit by Miss Jackson 

Get it all out of your system.  “Take it and … it.”…  “You know what you can do with your exercise!”

Ok.  Now we can move on.

From the vernacular of yesteryear, one ‘took exercise.’  It was playing tennis in a gender appropriate vested suit or long dress, and then sipping freshly brewed sweat iced tea in the garden surrounding the court extolling each other’s masterful skill.  Or strolling along the walkway under one’s best parasol, and then sipping freshly…  Or rowing across the lake and back from the boathouse, and then sipping freshly…  Or cycling down the lane on a bike with a really big front wheel, and then sipping…  Or grappling on the freshly cut lawn, and then sipping…     

How quaint!  How civil and gentile and lovely!  Can’t you just feel the warm breeze on your face and smell the blooming flowers as you fill your lungs with fresh air?  All the while knowing that killer sweat tea is waiting!  Not a cloud in the sky not a care in the world… 

This ‘taking exercise’ thing, what’s not to like?  Not meant to be a sarcastic statement about social strata, rather as a lead in to how if you think about it,‘taking exercise’ has a different connotation from ‘doing exercise,’ then wondering well, why can’t we too, ‘take exercise?’  

Riiiiight!  Let me get on that right after I drop the kids to school, pick up the dry cleaning, get groceries, give the dog a bath, finish the report that was due yesterday, THEN get to the gym but know I’ll have to fight for parking and wait for an elliptical because it will be after the group class lets out so they will get them first! 

Touché. 

Except, really, why do we sometimes relegate exercise as something we HAVE to do rather than something we GET to take in?  Before you respond with another sassy ‘Right!-Let-me-get-right-on-that…’ answer give it a listen. 

‘Taking’ exercise suggests it is looked forward to, purposeful, meaningful, intentional, of our control, and anticipated to be…fun!    

‘Doing’ exercise implies going through the motions at an arms-length emotional connection, being made to do it from an outside source, it will be tolerable at best but is anticipated to be…drudgery.  

You can probably guess where this is going next so just bear with me.  First, if you only DO exercise then that’s what exercise is always going to feel like – something you have to do, and second, the lack of emotional connection roadblocks you even considering any gains – you just count down the clock until the 30 minutes is finally over.  Really, un-fun!                                 

But, if you TAKE exercise, well now we are talking about a polar opposite experience.  Choosing just what you are going to take automatically creates light and bright enthusiasm – ‘I GET to (insert activity)’ – which brings about an emotional openness that anticipates good things will happen.  Now add notching your Iron Footprint to the mix and your intentional and purposeful mindset has a platform that intentionally and purposefully helps you identify and reveal ALL the achievement…that you already anticipate.          

Control can be a very good thing.  Starting today, ‘take’ don’t ‘do’ exercise.  Grab that parasol and stroll the walkway – of the treadmill set at a 15’ incline, jump on the bike and cycle down the lane – of the computer generated  ‘countryside’ course option on the stationary bike, grapple with a friend – during the boxercise group fitness class, or row across the lake – in 1500 meter increments on the rowing machine.          

Then sip sweat tea – made from your favorite powdered drink mix you add to your water bottle.

Hey, it’s a start!