If you are on social media, you have seen the following:

I’m so hardcore, my workout should come with a cape.
You may see me struggle, but you will never see me quit.
Winners do what they fear.
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.
You don’t find willpower. You create it.
Better sore than sorry.
Eat. Train. Sleep. Repeat.
Exercise: First you feel like dying. Then you feel reborn.

Think about your reaction to those quotes. Do they make you feel like jumping up and exercising? Or do they sound intimidating? Does it make you feel inspired? Or just a bit irritated? Do you fail to see the wisdom in these little quips? Or does it fill you with the desire to train harder?

I have a funny reaction to these quotes. The truth is, I love memes with photos of strong women with NO FEAR. NO LIMITS, NO EXCUSES, in huge block letters. These memes do make me want to plan my next training session.

The reality is, the content in these memes is not why I train. I don’t exercise to look like a bad ass. I don’t practice a combination repeatedly to sculpt my shoulders. I certainly don’t plank for a 6-pack. I do it because I need exercise to FEEL like a bad ass — to feel strong and confident and steady, all at the same time. My journey with exercise started with a desire to reshape my body. But it quickly evolved into a quest to improve & maintain my mental health.

So maybe my motivational quotes should look more like this:

Exercise is key to mental health.
Warning: Exercise has been known to cause health and happiness.
Exercise: The prescription for depression, anxiety, stress and more.
Let exercise be your stress reliever.
Exercise to have fun and be healthy, not just lose weight.

Not as exciting. But far more accurate for me.

So for now, I will Sweat, Smile and Repeat.
How about you? Can you share a meme that speaks to you and the way exercise makes you feel?