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I’m Not Crazy. I’m Quirky. Now, Get Off of My Treadmill

Filed Under: Men's Health at 4:17 pm | By: Susan Coyle, Senior Editor
Man in Chicken SuitWe all have our quirks. You can try to deny it, but I’m certain that there are at least one or two peculiarities poking out of your personality.  You may only be able to drink from a certain coffee mug or work with a specific CD playing, or you may have to tap the doorway six times before you walk through it.  There’s no limit on how strange your idiosyncrasies can be, just as there is no limit on what aspect of your life they affect. Compulsive habits invade your mornings, your bedtime prep, your commute and even your fitness routine. But don’t worry; you’re not alone.

Exercise rituals are commonplace both for individuals and teams. Pro-athletes, for example, are well known for their game-day must-dos.  Players won’t enter the field without their lucky socks. They won’t bat if they take three rather than four practice swings, and they can’t win if they cut their hair before the season ends. The oddities are noted yet embraced, particularly if it’s helping them play better. And the same goes for you and your exercise routine. You know that it’s weird, but requiring the treadmill six from the left, directly in front of the third mirror and 45 degrees east of the nearest air vent maximizes your fitness. So, it’s what you must do. Normalcy be damned. And I support that. Trust me; I’ve got no hold on normalcy. However, you do want to make sure that your quirk remains a quirk and not an obsession.

Don’t allow your love for the only purple yoga mat to keep you from working out when it’s not available. You may think that you can’t bend on a blue one, but you can. The color isn’t what’s boosting your performance; it’s the feeling. Routine stimulates a sense of safety and control. It puts you in the mindset to exercise. When you have completed all of your little rituals, you feel ready to run the extra mile. However, you could have done it before turning your underwear inside out. If you realize that, a change in your routine won’t destroy your day. You’ll accept that a new girl took your corner in class. You’ll use a different machine. You’ll formulate a new ritual, and you’ll be able to sweat rather than fret.

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