I Don’t Understand Exercising

So I don’t really get exercising. Let’s take running, for example. It’s popular. You don’t need to buy equipment or be exceptionally coordinated or talented to do it. But I don’t get it. Why should I do it?

Endorphin high, you say? Sure, that happens. But you have to work super hard to get there. Sweatness and tiredness and boringness and time. Then you reach the endorphin high.

But you know what? I can get an endorphin high from one bite of chocolate. All I have to do is put it in my mouth. Boom! Endorphin high. I can skip the pain and suffering of exercising completely and just use chocolate to get the same result.

So nobody can sell me exercise based on that endorphin high bullshit.

There has to be a better reason. Health? Ah yes, there it is.

Back when we first got Crappy Dog I thought he’d be the answer to my exercise needs. Every morning I’d take him on a walk!

That dog embodies the opposite of exercise.

This is what it is like going on a “walk” with him.


He stops and sniffs a plant.

Five minutes go by.


He walks four feet!! And he sniffs another plant. But sometimes it gets exciting. Sometimes he decides that the plant is worthy and he pees on it. Riveting.

So the dog is good for leisurely strolls around the neighborhood where I stop and smell the roses and talk to neighbors. He is not good for exercise.

I decide to try out running again.

In my past attempts, “running” for me just meant walking.


At least until a car drove by…


Then I’d quickly pick up the pace and pretend that I was actually doing exercise:


But this time, I’m gonna stick with it! At least until I reach the runner’s high thing. So I can see what all the fuss it about.

After three weeks, I’m running more and walking less.

(Oh, a detail I should mention – my house is on the top of a hill so no matter which way I go, half of the way is uphill. Which is brutal because I’m already tired from the first half.)

So one day I decide that I’m going to keep running up that hill. I’m not going to stop and walk. I WILL jog up the whole hill.


I’m feeling pretty smug about my excellent progress when I hear footsteps behind me.


It’s an older man with a little pot belly. Like Santa in the off-season.

And then. And then!


He passes me. Easily. Effortlessly. Going UP the hill. Damn.

It’s one of those life-changing moments.


I arrive back home to my front door and…


I feel the elusive endorphin high. I feel great! Despite the humiliation of being passed by Santa, I feel wonderful!

I finally understand it! I can’t wait to get up the next morning and do this again!


No matter how long I stick with it, chocolate* is still easier.



*Don’t listen to me and just eat chocolate for your sole form of exercise. That might actually be bad advice.

If you want good advice, it would be to pre-order my marriage book because laughing is a form of exercise. Probably.

There is a bit about exercise in the Health & Hygiene chapter but not much because, um, I’m just not very good at it.

You can pre-order the book now through November 17th, 2014 (one week left!) and get a hand-signed bookplate that will arrive before the holidays. Book comes out December 30th, 2014. There is a little more about the book on this page.

How it works…

#1. Preorder today through November 17th, 2014 from the following OR from where ever you can find the book for sale!! These are only suggestions to help you. (logos will take you right to the book)

Amazonlogo      BarnesNoble_logo

bam     Indigo

    Available_on_the_iBookstore_Badge_US-UK_146x40_0824         google-play                 



#2. Then fill out this form.

Offer valid for US & Canada addresses (excl. Quebec). Limited quantities. 

Then you will receive a handy dandy, signed bookplate sticker in the mail in time for the holidays!

Thank you!!



PS – although not eligible for the bookplate, the book is on AmazonUK and also on Book Depository, which offers free shipping worldwide for those of you in far off corners of the world. Thank you!!

PPS – No, I don’t have anything against Quebec. I’m guessing my publisher excluded it because of strict giveaway laws there. I’ve heard that’s a thing. It wasn’t my choice. I didn’t sit in front of my computer thinking, “I want make everyone in Quebec feel left out so let’s exclude them, he he he.” Sorry if you thought that. 

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54 Responses to I Don’t Understand Exercising

  1. janice says:

    I don’t even get that endorphin high so I don’t understand exercising at all. I haven’t understood it for the past 10 years…maybe I should change that. And, can’t wait for your book to release!

    • nbaxter says:

      Aha A kindred spirit I totally never ever got it and everyone around me is now running freaking marathons what the sam hill..

      • SD Murray says:

        My college roommates would jog off their hangovers — who does that? Me? I crashed on the couch with a giant bottle of water and a pack of saltines. They had knee reconstruction in their early 40’s. I’m still kicking with the originals.

  2. Christine W says:

    Would it help if you didn’t run in a dress? 😉

  3. Fenny says:

    I took up kickboxing 2 years ago. It’s great. I can legitimately kick kids – which I am banned from doing at work. I’m going to be 50 next year and have a bad back, but kicking people is fun.

    Now I’m working on being able to swim more than 2 lengths without feeling like I’m dying.

  4. I can’t stand running. It hurts and it’s boring. I like doing zumba videos on Youtube, when I’m not busy eating chocolate instead.

  5. Melissa says:

    I tried running. I still try to train every year so I can run a 5k on the 4th of July…but outside of that, running is awful. I don’t think I ever get that high. Next week I’m starting a Zumba class. I hope it doesn’t suck.

  6. Beth says:

    I run because it’s the only time I get to be alone. And listen to my tunes. I do boot camp because it’s my only chance to socialize with other people outside of work. Plus, I am sick of wearing fat pants.

  7. Sara says:

    Yep, while training for the 5K, I ran. I didn’t get it. The thing that puzzled me the most was people saying I would have more energy if I started exercising more. You know what I wanted to do after every jog? Sleep. I wanted to take a nice, long nap after I ran… isn’t that the complete opposite of what’s SUPPOSED to happen???

  8. Cassi says:

    Omg! It’s so nice to know someone else out there has this problem. Nothing like running in a 5k and getting passed by a couple of old guys (walking) in cowboy boots!

  9. Melissa says:

    I hate exercise in any and all forms. Except sex. Which I count as exercise simply because I hate everything else that much. Sex burns calories, so between that and wrangling the wild beasts I live with (kids and pets) I’m content to call that my fitness regime.

  10. AllyKat says:

    We call that the “stop and sniff” rather than “walk”. As my dog got older, the stop and sniff got longer. I would just let him sniff to his heart’s content, which is probably why he preferred walking with me to walking with other family members (come ON, Sammy!!!).

    I have also found that exercise is really only fun when you are already fit and skinny. Otherwise, it pretty much sucks.

  11. Andrea says:

    I run even though I’ve never got the endorphin high. I do it because I’m lazy and it’s the quickest form of working out/burns the most calories per amount of time put in. Yup, I run because I’m lazy. And from Wisconsin, so you know, beer and cheese. Something needs to fight the beer and cheese situation.

  12. CSmith says:

    I don’t get running, either. If you see me running, you should run too because something very scary is chasing me.

  13. Kristin says:

    I’ve recently taken up an exercise regiment. I hate it on the days when I’m not pissed off at the world. However, on the days that I generally dislike all people, including my own little-humans, I’m all like “Oh, yeah, I kick ass! Take that moron who cut me off!”

  14. Lyz says:

    I tried running but really couldn’t get into it. I could see the improvement in my fitness, but it was just boring! I much preferred hopping on my bike, but the kids are too small to keep up and too big to ride in the trailer, so that’s out for now.

    We all train martial arts instead! Not only is it great exercise, but it is also great character development for the little ones (and us too). If you decide to try it, look for a place with lots of kids. They are much more likely to be family-friendly instead of the stereotypical Cobra Kai.

    I don’t know about an endorphin high but it is great stress relief. Bad day? Spend 5-10 minutes beating the snot out of a bag and you will feel better.

  15. Michal says:

    But laughing *is* exercise. Ever laughed so hard your sides hurt? That’s your core muscles hurting. It’s even yoga. My wife takes laughter yoga once a week at work at lunch.

    That’s why I read your blog. It’s exercise.

  16. Angela says:

    My husband bought an almost new treadmill from someone’s basement and built a platform for my laptop above it so I can play video games and walk at the same time. Then he said I can play video games as much as I want as long as I’m on the treadmill (this was in response to my complaints about my complete lack of motivation to exercise even though I know I need to, not because he thinks I need it lol). I exercise much more now and play video games much less.

  17. Ami says:

    Just remember my motto: No gain, no pain.

  18. Mattie says:

    I hated running and was always envious of people that could run a lot. But last year, I decided that I need to get back into shape and take some time for myself. I started the Couch to 5k program. I could barely run a minute without huffing and puffing. But I got through the 9 week program and ran a 5k back in May with a couple walking breaks. In October I ran a 10k and now I’m training for a 15k in December, with a possible half marathon in January. I would have never guess I’d be the runner I am now a year ago. I still hate running, but I love being alone for my morning runs and feeling great after!

  19. LH says:

    Whenever an old dude passes me when I’m running, I think the myself “Whatever, he’s had YEARS to train!” Then I don’t feel so bad.

  20. Mandy says:

    Is the endorphin high an asthma attack? Because I get that pretty quickly when runnning. The only things that will make me run now are kids or pets lives in danger. If my life is in danger, I can not see the point in running and dieing out of breath.

  21. Sarah says:

    The only time you’ll catch me running is if one of my kids is about to take a trip to the hospital or a large, predatory animal is chasing me.

  22. Natalie says:

    I shake my booty at Jazzercize. It ALMOST feels like fun!

  23. Jodi says:

    My husband’s a personal trainer, I’m a professional exercise avoiderer. We make an interesting couple.
    On a serious note; stretching. He works you like you wouldn’t believe. Pain, pain, pain… But his full body stretch routines are like crack for the muscles and afterwards you feel NOTHING, no matter how enthusiastically you’ve been put through your paces. Cool down and stretch with a gentle yoga routine and you won’t believe how good you feel the next day.

  24. Fat Old Man says:

    (You hear huffing behind you)

    FOM (Fat Old Man): Hills just aren’t made for people like us.

    You: Wait? People like us?

  25. Sue says:

    My problem is I can’t run. By that I mean I can run but I run in a very weird way. If you have seen the episode of Friends with Phoebe running you will get the idea of my technique.

  26. SassyDandelion says:

    I used to run 4 miles daily. That was 15 years ago. Now, I pull a muscle if I try walking around the block. Sigh. I just really (truly) enjoy being fluffy. I’m happier now at a size 12 / 14 than I ever was as a 2 / 4.

  27. Sara says:

    I’m the opposite. I don’t get *not* exercising. If I don’t get a daily workout in, I have ZERO patience for my kids. I’m yelling and screaming and breaking down all over the place. I can’t find the motivation to do anything else, and my self esteem goes down the toilet. Taking that 1-2 hours/day at the gym, on my own, doing my thing, pushing myself and proving to myself that I *can* do anything I set my mind to gives helps me keep my head when my kids are being difficult. Or the dog pees on the carpet again. Or both 😉

  28. Leslie says:

    I took up belly dancing after my first daughter was born. I hate exercise with a passion, but this doesn’t feel like exercise, plus you get to wear sparkly things. And all the women at dance class are now my best friends, so exercise means hanging out with my friends. Plus I can now out sit-up my high school students. 🙂

  29. monica says:

    Oh i hate exercising too! At least in the conventional way. My husband found us a dance studio that had a lesson and then there is a dance party afterwards. I love it! I have lost weight since we started this and i finally feel that awesome feeling. Plus they let you drink wine there too!

    • Charity says:

      Wine with exercise!! This is what I need to get motivated. Now….to convince the hubby to take a dancing class with me.

  30. Bridget says:

    Don’t feel too bad. I run several times a week and once I was running in a 5k and was passes by a man in a hand powered wheel chair. And yes, I was actually running, but apparently, not very fast.

  31. KimCS says:

    When I first moved to a mountain town my hubbie and I were walking up to check out the Arts Centre where I would be working. As we slowly puffed our way up we were passed by a group of senior 60-70 year old women. To make it worse one of them glanced back and said “you’re almost at the top dear”. We were in our early twenties at the time.

  32. Sanj says:

    I love my warmwater Ai Chi class. (It’s not tai chi.) It’s so wonderful! Easy to do, comfy in 92-degree water; it gently, systematically, happily stretches and strengthens the whole body/mind/spirit combo. Ahhh.

  33. Jennifer says:

    I have done CrossFit for 3 years (It is all able to be modified, when I started I couldn’t do 1 sit up from a life-threatening staph infection after I had my son and had a big hole in my stomach, now I can do all of it – except I can’t climb a rope and I can’t do a pull-up without a band yet, but no big deal). But, I have a specific class time, it is only 1 hour, someone tells me exactly what to do, then done.

    I ALSO HATE RUNNING, never could go more than a mile in 1 stint, never even when I was young and in sports and competitive cheerleading so no one can say you can get better…nope, I hate running will NEVER be good at it, it is pointless and super bad for your body to run long distances.

    THE POINT…find something that challenges you, that you are motivated to do, that you see your improvements

  34. My children have stolen my ability to run… or jump… or sneeze!!

    I don’t honestly mind that running is out of the picture 😉

    • Laura says:

      Me too! :-/ Shouldn’t run and jumping is not good for one of my toes. But so glad there’s another out there who understands!

  35. My house is at the top of a hill, too, so I’m totally feeling your pain quite literally. And I’m with you – at the end of a workout I’m all smug and proud and thinking ‘This is great, I’m going to totally stick with it this time!’ but I somehow never remember that when it’s time to actually do it again the next day.

  36. Lisa says:

    Every runner I know has wrecked their body. They are constant posting about their injuries and recovery etc. yeah… I really want to pick up THAT hobby

  37. Tali McPike says:

    I used to feel the same way about exercise. I was the anti-athlete of my family. Then I got depression and medication hasn’t been an option. So I was told to start running (apparently Harvard did a study which showed that running 60 minutes 3x a week had the same effect as anti-depressants after 16 weeks). I just finished the Couch to 5k training program (which is free by the way) and I get it. I get why runner’s love running so much (besides the awesome medals they get for finishing races). It’s not just endorphins, it’s your body feeling a sense of accomplishment. Your legs very quickly stop shouting “never do that again!” at you. When you start out slow and ease your way into it (like Couch to 5k does) it really isn’t that bad, in fact it’s the opposite of bad, it’s Awesome!

  38. Shannon Garvin says:

    I think there is no shame at all in being passed by Santa. I mean, really, he travels the whole world with stops in one night! Seriously! If you could even see him as he blitzed by, it is proof that you were going very quickly.

  39. Jen says:

    A running motivation article I was reading quoted ‘I hate writing but love having witten’ then went on to say the article writer thought the same applied to running. I agree. I live on a hill surrounded by smaller hills. It sucks lol

  40. Melissa says:

    Hahaha! I went through that for a long time until I found my “exercise thing”. If you can find the thing that is interesting enough to hold your attention while exercising, then it totally works! For my mom, she puts audio books on her ipod. For me, it was a little bit more money and work – I built a desk around my treadmill so I could play computer games while walking at an incline. It makes the time fly right by.