The very first time I ever started working out seriously, I had a membership to the McBurney YMCA in NYC.

It was on my way home just a few steps from my subway stop, so it was very convenient. I started for all the wrong reasons. I wanted to have a more fashionable body and and fit in better with a trendy gay crowd.

If those had remained my motivations, I’m sure I would have quit very soon.

Instead, like you maybe a little bit, I surprised myself by kind of enjoying what I was doing. Clumsy, nerdy me was actually having a good time mastering tasks at the gym and doing better at them than I would have thought I could have done.

Over the course of a few weeks, I began to experience the gym as treating myself rather than as a chore I had to do.

I kept going for that reason and sort of just forgot about what I wanted my body to look like. I enjoyed making progress with the amount of weights that I was lifting, with my endurance on the the elliptical and Stair Master, and just being incredibly relaxed when I got home.

Eventually, I did notice a change in my body, and that was great as a bonus, but it’s not what kept me in the gym several days a week.

I think that’s kind of what you’re getting at. General, far-off goals aren’t enough to motivate day-to-day tasks.

I kept at the day-to-day because I learned to enjoy it or at least to want the day-to-day good feelings of it.

Oh, and the steam room with its combination of Chelsea queens and Italian mobsters was just too hilarious not to want to experience! ;-)

Written by

Writer. Runner. Marine. Airman. Former LGBTQ and HIV activist. Former ActUpNY and Queer Nation. Polyglot. Middle-aged, uppity faggot.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store