Yes, you read the title correctly, paint fitness not Planet Fitness. When it comes to paint fitness, purple is not allowed, sorry purple lovers.
I’ve spent the past 5 weeks painting the outside of my house. It was in bad shape to begin with and it was time for me to put the hard hat on and get to work.
For those of you who’ve have painted houses before, you probably know it’s monotonous work that doesn’t require a lot of brain power and this allowed my mind to wander back and forth between painting and fitness.
The time I spent stroking the brush up down and all around has led me to drawing parallels between the two subjects that seem at first glance not to have a lot in common.
However, they’ve got more in common than you think. Let me prove it to you.
1. Both require preparation time
There’s more to painting the trim of the house than meets the eye because you can’t slap a coat of paint on wood without preparing it first. You need to scrap the old paint off, sand it, seal up any cracks and tape off the parts that don’t need painting.
When it comes to training, you need a goal, a workout plan, good food in the fridge and packing your workout clothes the night before. You also need to schedule your exercise, drive to the gym and warm up before you hit the weights.
Being fit and healthy does requires preparation time just like painting.
2. It will not happen overnight, but it will happen
When faced with a large project like painting a house or losing 50 pounds, you’re eager to get over and done with as soon as possible because both are difficult and potentially time-consuming. I’d rather be sunning myself on a beach somewhere slathered in suntan lotion than be slathered head to toe in paint.
However, you must realize that things that are worth doing take time. So, when you’re faced with a daunting task, keep putting one foot in front of the other and move forward. Overtime, you’ll be amazed with the results.
When you’re face with a large undertaking, whether painting or getting in shape, it’s not going to happen by itself. You consistency need to show up and do the work required day after day and week after week.
Every day Monday through Saturday for 5 weeks, I put in a few hours working on the house, no matter how hot it was or how crappy I felt. The painting wasn’t going to finish it self.
Similarly, there are days when you can’t be bothered to train. Those days when motivation is low, doing something like walking, stretching or bodyweight exercises will help with your exercise consistency and keeps your momentum moving forward.
4. Embracing the suck
Painting is repetitive, tedious work. Even HGTV and DIY channels fast forward through the painting parts and move on to the sexier parts of home renovation like laying tile or installing bathrooms. Exciting stuff, correct?
Exercise, like painting can be boring and you can get bogged down in the monotony of it all. Instead of giving up and not finishing what you’ve started, repeat this mantra ‘embrace the suck.’
I think it’s catchy.
Achieving your goals is sexy but the work to get there is not. Keeping your eyes on the prize, grinding away and focus on finishing can help you get through the suck.
5. Nobody knows how much hard work you’ve put in.
If you were to look my house 3 weeks ago, it didn’t look like much. In fact, it wasn’t pretty at all. However, I’d spent a solid two weeks of my blood, sweat and tears to get it to look that bad.
When you see a person at the gym, who is a little overweight, out of breath and is out place among all the beautiful people, you don’t know how much work they’ve put in to get to this point.
They may have lost 50 pounds, turned their diet around and recently built up the courage to join a gym. However, you’re judging a book by it’s cover because you don’t know them.
Note- I’ve been guilty of this too.
6. It’s not always going to go your way
3 months ago, I hurt the medial part of my left knee. I’m not sure what I did but injury is lingering, and I have good days and bad days. As you can imagine, climbing up and down ladders isn’t exactly great for the knees. In fact, I’m here to tell you it really sucks.
This meant working around it. Wearing a brace, take ladder breaks and painting with my feet on the ground. Yes, this slowed me down, but at least I kept moving forward.
Progress is not always linear. Some days you jump on the scale and you’ve put on 2 pounds even though you’ve been doing all the right things. Other days, the weight that you can lift easily on most days feels as heavy as a mac truck. Shit happens and it’s easy to get discouraged.
Realizing that life doesn’t always go your way and keeping your focus on the road ahead is key her. Brush it off, get back on the horse (or ladder) and keeping riding cowboy.
This was like therapy for my soul and I feel better now.
And if I ever see another paint brush again, it will be too soon.