Alternatives to ‘Feeling the Burn’

Anybody’s who even remotely aware of what goes on at the gym, takes a few things for granted. I’m not talking about the old men who evidently weren’t raised in the same shame-based religion as me, who flaunt their stuff in the locker room. I’m talking about the sights and the sounds. The grunts as people finish their last reps or the pungent odor of the collection of sweaty gym rags. One of the most common cliches I’m always surprised to hear in the gym is “feel the burn.” People yell it as folks struggle to find a motivation to finish yet another grueling workout. But what does it do? I mean, do people actually find it motivational? For your reading pleasure, I’d like to suggest a few alternatives.

1. Feel the shank.
Now, I’d be lying if I said I’m familiar with the pain of a shanking, but I can’t help but imagine that the pain of a toothbrush melted down to a point or a carrot peeler as it stabs your side is similar to the pain of the final 15 crunches after a chest and ab intensive workout. Sure, it’s not as elegant or inspiring as “feel the burn” but at least it’s honest.

2. Feel the sting of regret as you curse your New Year’s resolution.
I have a friend who works at the gym that I go to. She warns me about the peak hours or if it’s busy before I go in or not. It’s kinda useful, considering I don’t like working out with a lot of people around me, watching. Just work out at home, you say? Well, the thing that keeps me motivated to keep going to this gym is that my friend says that by mid-February, most people have quit. It’s called the “Post-New Year’s Slump.” Like I said before, I’m not expecting any of these sayings to make it on to a Hallmark card because when it gets right down to it, people usually hate the fact that it’s true.

3. Feel better about yourself until you have trouble getting out of the shower the next day.
Nothing feels better than an intense workout. If you can make it through, you can feel the pride of a job well done and go about your day. That is, until the next day. From personal experience, this is probably the one that I’d subscribe to. I had a great workout yesterday and I was high on endorphins and feelin’ good about myself… and then this morning happened. When I woke up, I leaned upright and peeled the covers of my legs. As I turned my body, I felt the most unbearable pain. Is it my fault? probably. I’m pretty sure I tried to do too much at the gym yesterday, including abs, legs, triceps, biceps, and thighs. The real regret didn’t kick in until I felt the sting of hot water against my aching muscles. Nobody tells you about the pain afterwards.

Like I said, I’m not expecting much to come from these alternatives. Do I think they’re a good idea? Of course I do. Why else would I take the time to type them out? But even more so, I feel that in cases like this, honesty is the best policy. Sure, it’s good to stay healthy and exercise or whatever, but you gotta thing about the painful downsides too. And if anybody says “feel the burn” to you, to motivate you? Try one of these helpful recommendations.


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