Inspiration v. Admiration & the unholy ‘Going to”

Posted: 11/29/2012 in Uncategorized

Interweb, I will begin by telling you that it is damn near impossible to have a tuna salad w/ pepperjack & banana peppers WITHOUT potato chips & chocolate milk for accompaniment. Yum! Also one of the few things that my work cafeteria gets right. Probably because they don’t actually make the chocolate milk or potato chips. And in this case, dude was kind of skimpy with the  tuna salad & pepperjack, so it was more like a banana pepper sandwich with tuna flavoring and a very very small hint of spice. Okay, so maybe it’s one of the things that the cafeteria kinda, maybe gets somewhat right.

You needed to know this, I know.

One of my more unhealthy lunch options. Being enjoyed consumed at this very moment.

None of that has anything to do with this post.

Also, I am probably going to hell for using the word ‘unholy’ in my title. So there’s that.

The other day I posted a bit of a mini-rant on FB about how people frequently comment to me that working out* in the morning before work is “just TOO HARD” and they could never do that because they could never get out of bed that early. Frankly, it makes me want to gag. Thus the rant. There is a difference between something being too hard to do and you choosing to not do it. I bite my tongue on this response every. single. time.  Also on the part where I say, so what’s stopping you from working out at lunch or after work or before bed or at any other time in the 24 hours of the day you’ve been given? Because it would be judgy and unkind and also call them on their bullshit.

Is getting up at 4:35am to go work out hard? Yes. Some days more than others. Do I make it every day? No. But more than not. Not many people pop out of a warm, husband-filled bed with their eyes all sleepy to go pull on a sports bra in the kitchen & scrape the frost off their car that early and call it ‘easy’. But I do it anyway. It is hard. In that moment. Once I’m up and moving, it gets easier and by the time I’m 10 minutes into my workout, I’m very glad I got out of bed.

Same with evening runs or workouts. Am I tired after work? Do I have things to do when I get home? Yes. Yes. Yes, again. (For dramatic effect even though there was no question #3.) Sometimes – and especially at the beginning of a program – it’s hard to make the decision to go gymward in spite of tired and busy and hungry. But I do it anyway. And once I’m 10 minutes into my workout, I’m usually very glad I got moving. Also, is my house usually dusty and sometimes do I have a turkey sandwich for dinner? Yes. I’m okay with that because my adrenaline high is very satisfying.

So anyway, I posted this mini-rant, and as is wont to happen once in a while on my fitness posts, someone chimed in with a ‘you’re so inspiring to me’ comment.  In this example, she’s my cousin and I love her (and I hope she’ll forgive me if she ever reads this), but when she followed it up with ‘I’m going  to start walking this week”, I wanted to bop her on the head. It was Monday. It ALREADY IS this week. What’s with the ‘going to’? Why not ‘I’m doing this today’?

For me, inspiration is a call to action. When I get inspired, I want TO DO something. Usually something different than what I’m already doing.  When someone tells me that I inspired them, I feel happy about it. I’m glad I encouraged them to get some movement into their lives. But when they then don’t start moving, it makes me sad. Then frustrated.  ‘Going to’ and ‘sometime this week’ are pretty damn vague. Which tells me you’re not going to do a damn thing. HOW EXACTLY AM I INSPIRING YOU TO NOT DO A DAMN THING?  To me ‘going to’ might as well be cursing at me. I’ve gotten other similar responses from people telling me I’ve inspired them, but then they don’t move. That’s not inspiration, that’s admiration. An ‘I respect what you’re doing, but I’m not going to step away from the Cheetos’ admiration. While I don’t work out to inspire anyone or to gain admiration from others, I would strongly prefer to inspire rather than be admired.

On Wednesday, I sent a quick note to my cousin that the week was half-over – how’s the ‘going’ going? No response. Now it’s Thursday and the week is moving towards being over. And how many miles could’ve been logged if ‘going to’ had been ‘today’ way back when on Monday?


Admiration sucks.


*I’ll clarify here that, to me, working out isn’t necessarily even going to a gym or running or lifting weights. When I say working out, I mean any kind of movement that benefits your physical fitness wherever you are on that path. If that’s a 5-minute walk right now, then that’s your workout and that’s perfectly fine. Just do what you can do with an eye towards improving your body.


  1. Steena says:

    I’m going to be a bone-head here, and say that with my old work hours, it WAS too hard to wake up before work to workout. I rarely did it. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t do my workouts after work!
    As for your cousin, “I’m going to start” .. you know what, you planted a seed. Call that a success. The idea is there. Follow up with her, ask her how her first workout went, if she didn’t do it, you’ll have further inspired her.

    • You’re not the bone-head. I’m the bone-head. I hate it when I get frustrated. It bugs me when I see people repeating the same cycle of start & quit over and over again. Like, if I could just lend them my body for one workout – so that they could see how good they could feel & what they could be capable of – give them that realization as something to work towards…I don’t think they’d ever quit again. But you can’t do the work for people. Only encourage them to do it, I guess. I’m struggling with being an encourager lately.


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