What if there was no outcome, no result, no goal?

tree frogsWhen Duckfish said he wanted to go to the gym this year I asked him what he wanted to get out of training. He had difficulty replying — he said he just wanted to feel better.

I pushed him for an answer — more strength, more endurance or look leaner?

“Well, all of those things,” he said, “but the main reason I want to train is because I like it.”

This weekend we joined a gym together. Not the Fitness First gym I used to go to but a brand new gym even closer to home.

As we sat in the bath soothing our worked muscles after our first session, the old familiar thoughts came into my head. “If I work out six times a week and watch what I eat I could lose 10 kilos in the next six months.”

But then I remembered Duckfish’s approach. What if I went to the gym just because I liked going to the gym? Were there good things about training I had overlooked in the past? Could I enjoy it for its own sake rather than a means to an end?

I realised I could. Like kayaking or swimming at the beach it’s possible to see going to the gym as another kind of physical adventure. There are heavy things to be lifted, muscles to be worked and stretched and sweating to shed the toxins in my body and mind. A holiday from living in my head and an opportunity to inhabit my body without distraction.

I like this approach. I can go to the gym just because I like doing it in the moment. Present, conscious and mindful living …

It’s taken me a long time to get to this place but at last I get it.

There’s no need to be motivated or disciplined when working out is something you do just because you like doing it.

Exercise for the fun of it?

Fuck yes!

{photo source}

About KatieP

Embracing my midlife sexy while exploring modern love & relationships • Devoted to all things beautiful • Master of Arts in creative writing & non-fiction writing • Join the hottest group on FB → Sassy Ageless Women

9 thoughts on “What if there was no outcome, no result, no goal?

  1. Great point and insight, Katie. I love the title that you chose for this post, too. I think it can apply to so many things. We lose out on the joy and the beauty of many moments because we are constantly working towards some outcome or goal. Or at least, I know I do : ) I’m working on letting go of my expectations and just being in the moment. Doing things because I enjoy them, not because I think they will bring me a specific result. Of course, the results will come, but I try to not make that the reason why I do things. I want to be happy NOW, not when I’ve lost 5 pounds or gained 5 clients : ) Thank you for this post and this reminder. xx

    1. We lose out on the joy and the beauty of many moments because we are constantly working towards some outcome or goal.
      I agree. Life is happening now — not sometime in the future 🙂

  2. Amen Katie!!!! My workouts used to be measured in minutes, miles, reps and calories. Now they are measured in sweating and feeling strong and able – I like to sweat it out (whatever “it” is at the moment, “it” changes you know) it is a wonderful release. Finally, I do it because I like it!

  3. What I LOVE about exercising for fun is that you can stop on the way home for a glass of wine and that’s perfectly ok (goes straight to you head thought, but whatevs.)

  4. I have recently started exercising every day for an hour or so, depending on how I feel. It’s the first time I have done that without also being on a diet, in at least 15 years.

    It is nothing short of a revelation. To exercise when your body has enough calories is COMPLETELY different. I finally understand what people are talking about when they talk about ‘the rush’. I think more clearly, my anxiety is more under control, it’s helping with my horrible PMS.

    I am a bit of a evangelical when it comes to exercise now! Sorry!

    I just didn’t think it would change my life like it has. But crucially it it always done for joy, not as a punishment or as a means to changing my shape.

    GREAT post as always Katie!!


    1. What a great observation Kate. You’re right — exercise DOES feel different when you have enough energy to do it. The pain of pushing my already exhausted body and struggling through to a predetermined calorie burn or period of time is gone. It does feel good — both during and after. Endorphins are fabulous!

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