My name is Allyson and I am an exercise addict…..(not)
So we had a speaker at out run clinic on Friday night speaking to us about exercise addiction. He was an interesting speaker but I am not sure about his comments. If you run and train, you know how easy it is to obsess about your training and to over-train as your event gets closer. Experts say that exercise addiction is not just another term for over-training syndrome. Exercise addiction is a chronic loss of perspective of the role of exercise in a full life. The exercise addict had lost their balance; exercise is overvalued compared to the value of work, friends, family or community.
I am not an exercise addict, I exercise because I want to, I like the way I feel and I like the way it makes my body feel. I have been known to wake up at 4:30am to get a long run in before work or family events, I have had to cut down social activities to do my training, I work out when I am sick, injured or tired and friends and family have told me I am too involved in exercise. I love to work out 6 days a week and I get withdrawal like symptoms when I cannot work out. I even use exercise to improve my mood, I run better when I am mad and I run when I am stressed so I do not eat. Based on this, I fit the definition of an exercise addict; so do most of my running/triathlete friends.
I would say I am goal driven, I like to set goals and achieve them…it makes me happy. I work hard to achieve my goals, I can be single minded in my focus when I get close to an event. I think anyone who trains for any distance events has these qualities; we need them to keep us on track and to push us for the next goal. I think it is all about balance; it’s OK to get out of balance for a short time, like before an event but if we stay out of balance for too long we could have a problem. I know I have felt a little lost in my off season, I like it better when I have a training plan but the off season gives me a chance to re-balance my life. I know when to work harder and when to take a day off, I know that my family and friends are more important then my workouts and they come first and I know that exercise is an important part of my life but it is not my life.
My name is Allyson and I am an athlete....