Dread (v): to anticipate with fear, distaste or reluctance*

Tuesday, December 27, 2011 Permalink

I have been pondering on something and hope in my heart of hearts (actually I don’t really know what that means… I just put it in cos it sounded good and seemed to fit!) that others are able to relate to the tale I’m about to tell and perhaps put me at ease – that I’m not completely fucked in the head – by sharing with me that they too experience the same thing.

I must admit, you see, I’m often relieved when I confess to some unusual (read: obsessive, weird, fucked-up) behaviour and receive comments from readers telling me that they do or experience the EXACT THE SAME THING.

NormalityIt’s not that I revel in others’ misfortune (really, it isn’t!), or want others to share in whatever despair I might be suffering as a result of my ailment… rather, it’s kinda nice to know that it ISN’T JUST ME! It’s reassuring to know that I’m not completely a lost cause. In fact, it’s a relief to know that I’m thinking the worse (catastrophising yet again!) because I can only access my own head; my own mind; my own thinking… and often judge myself harshly.

Readers of this blog and followers of my tweets and the like will know that I hired an exercise bike for a while earlier this year. It was a necessary evil back when I couldn’t walk without getting shin splints and was too unfit for much else. But I hated the thing. I dreaded getting on it, although once on I could usually force myself to stay on for the 20-30 minutes required.

Similarly, I’ve recently tried to recommence a ‘learn to run’ program; but I hate it. Hate hate HATE it. So much so that I spend the day at work dreading the time that I need to go to the gym and climb aboard the treadmill and commence my ‘run’ (using the term loosely!).

I do, however, manage to get myself to gym classes without too much antipathy… so I”ve been telling myself that my problem with the bike and treadmill is that I dislike cycling and running.

But, here’s my problem…. (FINALLY, you’re thinking… Yes, I can be a bit long-winded!)

Never give up...except if you couldn't be bothered...While I’ve been in my hometown and now at a nearby beach town, I’ve been walking. Yes, walking! Those rabid runners amongst you may well scoff at walking as a form of exercise BUT, I figure at least I’m doing something to burn off the myriad of calories I’m engulfing in alcohol and unhealthy food!

Generally I don’t mind walking, although I don’t do it much for exercise in my normal life (given my weekday gym class options). But when I do, and while on holidays, I don my iPhone and pound the pavement in time with LMFAO, Usher, Pitbull and others (which occasionally can be a challenge, when you’re a bit of a perfectionist who takes long strides and the beat of “Sexy and I Know It” is pretty bloody fast!).

But, here’s my problem (yes, I’m finally getting to it). I’m suffering some motivational problems. No… worse than that, I’m finding myself really DREADING my walks.

Yes indeedy. Unless I get up and go first thing (which I’ve done as often as possible) I spend the day DREADING my walk. I realise it isn’t the walk itself… it’s the HAVING to go. Yesterday my mother and I arrived at a nearby beach and lazed about on the verandah of a lovely house opposite the ocean. I had a little afternoon nanna nap (well, it was quite possibly over 2hrs long in all honesty)… and yet despite being surrounded by serenity and beauty, all afternoon I had this niggling feeling in the back of my mind because I knew I (yet) HAD to go for a bloody walk. It was hot and humid earlier in the day so I was waiting until it got cooler – which didn’t help – because I had a mostly-legitimate reason for delaying the inevitable, but longer to experience the aforementioned dread.

It was still hot at 5pm, so I told my mother that I was going to skip my walk and sit down with some champagne instead. After all I was on holidays, I told her huffily. Also, I said, I would get up early and go tomorrow when it was cool. Knowing me as she does, she just nodded and agreed, all while doing a mental eye-roll and thinking to herself, “WOT-EVA!” (Well, she would have if she was a teenager! I suspect that she’d actually zoned out my obsessive ‘I must go for a walk’ bleating hours before!)

No sooner had I decided this, that the guilt started to gnaw away at me. And finally, half an hour later I reappeared in front of my mother in my exercise gear announcing I was going for a SHORT walk.


Naturally the walk was fine and I felt a huge sense of relief and accomplishment when I finished. Similarly, I did an earlier morning walk (not 6am as planned, but 7.15am!) today and am relieved it’s done and dusted and out of the way.

The sense of dread isn’t a new one to me. I experience the same thing when I have ANY unwanted chore or task before me; and it plays on my mind (plagues me, may be a better term) until it’s completed.

But what I don’t understand is how I can DREAD the walks so much – particularly here where there’s a long walking/cycling path along the esplanade! But I’ve been the same since I came away on holidays. It plays on my mind ALL DAY until I get it done. I can’t enjoy other things as there’s this niggling sense of duty or something that lurks in the recesses of my mind. I could understand it if I was having to do some exercise I disliked… but walking can be cathartic. It can be hot and sticky and my shin splints have been playing up too… but it’s not something that causes nightmares or induces vomiting.

So, what I’m wondering is…
Is this normal?
Do others experience this sense of DREAD or OBLIGATION when it comes to exercise, even if it’s something they don’t actually dislike?

*From: www.Thefreedictionary.com
  • Liz@LastChanceTraining
    December 27, 2011

    Hi Deb,
    I don’t dread it exactly, but it does “hang” over me – which is why I make the effort to train in the early am – talk about set you up for a great day!

    • rockafellaskank
      December 27, 2011

      ‘Hanging over me’ is probably a good description…. Casts a shadow on my day until it’s done & dusted; or until I release myself from the agony… Somehow justifying why I can skip it.

  • Sharmila
    December 27, 2011

    I dread cycling and tend to avoid it at all costs. Walking is my thing and its something I enjoy and look forward to. I do like getting it out of the way early. I am too uncoordinated to do gym classes.

    • rockafellaskank
      December 27, 2011

      I don’t usually mind walking and have to admit I find it perplexing that it can ‘play on my mind’ all day til I’ve done it… So I dread it rather than look forward to it. Guess it’s another sign that I need to focus my attention on gym classes in the New Year.

      Glad you enjoy your walking…

      PS. Cycling REALLY doesn’t do it for me either. When I do circuit classes at my gym and there are interval bits on a spin bike I convince the instructors to let me row instead!!!!

  • beanfruit
    December 27, 2011

    What I dread is getting up early in the morning to exercise – so it works best for me to just do it after dinner. While I can’t say that I love to exercise and really look forward to it, I don’t think it really hangs over my head all day. Not sure why that is. I try to look at it as just “one of those things you do”, like brushing my teeth. Maybe I know that I can skip it if I really want to – but it is something in my best interest so most of the time I want to do it.

    Exercising outside in the heat and humidity though…I think I’d dread just about anything!

    • rockafellaskank
      December 27, 2011

      I worry a bit that my extreme dread is a result of my obsessive nature and the ‘importance’ I attach to HAVING to exercise, rather than wanting to… Hmmm….

  • skinnygirlrobbins
    January 17, 2012

    Yes! I love to read but I hated to read any book that was assigned. Even if it was good, I would barely muddle through it with the air of one being martyred the whole time

    • rockafellaskank
      January 17, 2012

      Very true…. IF I’m the one who makes the decision I’m fine, but if someone makes it for me I feel pressured. I think the same thing about training sometimes. If I’m with a trainer who says ’10 more’ I’ll groan and be grumpy at them, but if I’m training by myself I tend to push myself harder!

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