Exercise Addict?

I–and I know several others–recently was contacted by MTV looking for people in the 16- to 28-yr. old age range who could be considered addicted to exercise for an upcoming reality show. Well, first of all, I’m out of touch with that age group. Secondly, even if I knew someone who fit that category, I don’t think I could throw them to the lions for a reality show.

Anyhow–if they were doing such a show for the 40-something crowd (so appealing, right?) they might contact me. I am recognizing that I am just an angry, unhappy person without exercise. I haven’t been able to work out the last two days (I’m traveling and the stars have not aligned) and let me tell you, it’s not pretty. It’s bad enough that I can’t run, but not to have the chance to do anything has been pretty ugly. I clearly need my endorphin fix.

Now, if I were running and I had missed two days of running, maybe things would be different. But since I can’t run, I already feel fat and out of shape. So when I can’t do any exercise for a couple of days, I start to feel like a caged animal. I’m short-tempered, antsy, and ready to explode.

Is that the sign of an exercise addict? I don’t know. All I do know is that I need my fix. I’m off to the pool right now!

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  1. I think there's a fine line between commitment and addiction. When one gets into the habit of doing something, ie working out, obviously there will be "withdrawal symptoms" when one does not workout.

    But IMO it does not become a problem unless one is compromising personal relationships, other commitments, pressing thru illness, injury, fatigue, etc.

  2. Pretend this is real says:

    Haha! I'm TOTALLY with you on this. Even *I* don't want to be around myself when I miss too many days!

  3. Jogging with Fiction says:

    MTV is ridiculous. I know how you feel, though, I have the same reaction to not running, but I don't think it's really unhealthy, you know? I'm not endangering myself or others.

  4. racing dawn says:

    I know of this craziness you speak of…would you like to borrow my bracelet of magic? :)

  5. :) I feel you 100%.

    Hang in there. Patience.

    We are all addicts at some point or another to something in life.

    To me, addicts do something to the point that it's not healthy. I'd say we are in the clear.

  6. Paige (Two Runners And A Brown Dog) says:

    I am exactly the same way!

  7. wanaberunnergrl says:

    Ha! I TOTALLY agree – it's not pretty when I miss a run. But, I figure if your going to be addicted to something, might as well be something healthy like running.

  8. ha, send em my way. i'll fudge that birthday! :) i hope the pool cleared your head and got rid of the sitting-still-angries!

  9. Mamarunsbarefoot says:

    I say better to be an exercise addict than something else! :)

  10. I totally ADMIT that I am an addict. I'm obsessed… and I am still in my 30's. I keep telling my husband, it could be pornography or alcohol, so he should be thrilled it isn't, right?

  11. Big Daddy Diesel says:

    I think they have the wrong age group to look at, sure teen agers watch MTV and that why they are doing it, but if MTV looked at endurance atheltes, I bet they will find that these teenagers fail to be even mention in the same breath of what endurance athletes do

  12. so with you, in fact I haven't been able to run as much because of a hip injury and my 10 year old asked me when I would be running again because I had turned into the wicked witch. I guess the adage is true, "if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." good luck with your swim.

  13. *~* *~* Tracy says:

    What a dumb idea for a show…let's caste a bad light on healthy eating and exercise so that we -an obese, junkfood eating nation – can feel justified about unhealthy choices??

    And yes, all work and no exercise makes Tracy a grumpy girl.

    Get to the pool quick!!

  14. I'm a total addict, I feel terrible when I haven't been exercising and stress when I miss a workout. And yet… I feel like I am not really reality show material. O well

  15. BigHappyFamily says:

    Caged animal … perfect description. Exercise is the best for balancing out the ups and downs life throws at us.

  16. I could name 10 crazy young athletes that fall into that addict category! :) When we did brunch on Sunday and they were talking about all they did, I was like, what the… Where do they get the energy?? When I had my leg casted & couldn't do anything, my time was filled with a lot of Jerry Springer, which actually makes you appreciate being physically damaged, as opposed to emotionally damaged… ;) Go get that frustration out in the pool! :)

  17. Hmmm. I gave up on MTV a long time ago, but we do occasionally watch I Used To Be Fat.

    Do you remember when MTV first came out? WOW! I only had one friend who had the channel and we spent A LOT of time at her house. So, I think the rule is, if you were alive when MTV debuted, you should not be watching it now :D

  18. Shellyrm ~ just a country runner says:

    Hi. My name is Shelly. I am addicited to running. It's been 284 days since I took a rest day.

  19. Lisa {eatprayrun-lisa.blogspot.com} says:

    hi! i'm new to this blog thing and i've never posted a comment on your blog before, but i enjoy reading it. just saw this article and thought you might enjoy it. maybe this is why we all crave our runs!!


  20. I would watch a reality show about amateur endurance athletes, I think, but it sounds like MTV just wants an excuse to slam on folks who are into being fit. Because, really, we should discourage fitness as much as possible, right? (eyeroll). Go find something to do, girl, before you go nuts! :)

  21. Melissa Cunningham says:

    oh,i hear ya chica!
    totally agree with the other commenters about the addiction…
    its been 2 weeks for me not doing ANYTHING active aside from one short home workout with my 4yr old….
    i know exactly how you feel,and my son is quick to point out that ive been "a whole lot of grumpy"….
    im jonesing something fierce!!!
    heres hoping that the pool will help you get your *fix*!!!!

  22. JenniferLeah says:

    I don't fit that age demographic either but I share the same exact feeling as you do about missing workouts/running/etc.
    CAGED ANIMAL. Better get out of my way.
    So I guess it's 'normal'

  23. what the f- is that suppose to mean? Sorry, I haven't run in 42 hours… my bad:)

  24. Jeff - DangleTheCarrot says:

    I think the term "Addict" gets tossed around to easily in society today. Gives people an excuse for being an asshole. "Sorry, i didn't mean to punch you in the face honey, my made me do it, it wasn't me," MTV is a destroyer of young minds!

  25. mtv could do such good if they stayed committed to that, such shows about self esteem and how to be a better perosn. but then they exploit folks and feed them alcohol…i mean those challenges they have (which i do love to watch) they sent them to an island with very little variety of food yet they had access to booze 24/7 ??? seriously how is that legal ?
    so i would hate to see the folks they pick for this show, they will exploit other ares of the person's life. instead they could do a show about dedicated athletes who might have chagned the course of life when they found exercise. MTV needs to be a better role model to the generation that follows them. i don't want my daughters thinking snooki is a role model. i do believe my body has become addicted to exercise and i am thankful for that, it is a healthy habit that now my body needs and when i don't get it my body feels crappy and wants it. which is good.

  26. SupermomE12 says:

    Oh man, I am right there with you. I think it is a healthy addiction, but one never the less. I am so stinkin' ornery when I can't run/exercise, sometimes even on my planned days off. I love the caged animal description… it is perfect!

  27. Yeah, a running funderson is a happy funderson

  28. I try to harness my OCD for good and not evil purposes. This exercise thing is definitely for the mental aspect as well as the physical.

  29. Momma K and her Krew says:

    Me too Zip, me too. Exercise is a need for me- like it puts the gas in my tank. Without it I just dont have the same quality in my day. Id rather run but if thats not possible then give me SOME release!

  30. love this.

    I think the word "addicts" is a bit harsh.

    my "love" for exercise ;) keeps me mentally sane. Even 20 minutes of some squats, abs or lunges.

    I have been to the dark side of over-exercising [age 17-19]. It. was. pure. hell.

    I think only we/ourselves know if it is healthy or unhealthy —- Where I am today vs. age 17-19. NOT EVEN CLOSE TO BEING THE SAME.

    Hope you have/had a great swim!

  31. Running and living says:

    I actually feel I fit the definition of addiction, minus the "need more and more to get the same effect". I do feel a withdrawal when I taper for a race (like now) and that coupled with PSM makes me want to climb the walls.

  32. ShutUpandRun says:

    I must be an addict too. MTV did not contact me and I'm glad b/c I would only do a reality show for TLC.

  33. Jess @ Blonde Ponytail says:

    Happy swimming!! My world doesn't fall apart if I don't get a swea session in, but it isn't as bright and cheery either!! when it begins to impact relatioships negatively, that's a problem!!

  34. Jess @ Blonde Ponytail says:

    And wow! MTV contacted you?!!

  35. Complete sympathies! Running even when I feel miserable with a cold probably puts me into that addict category. Excuse myself from running…hell no!

  36. Crazy little factoid from grad school (and some recent buzz): it actually is a marijuana-type substance our bodies produce naturally vs. endorphins…so are we really potheads?!! ;)

    My friends had a field day with this a few years back.

    My take: healthy addiction as long as other life facets are copacetic.

    Positive thoughts!

  37. I suppose it is an addiction – but a healthy one!

  38. I am sure you saw this last week: http://espn.go.com/espnw/blog/_/post/6098928/sports-addiction

    I actually have a blog post started but never finished about the same topic!

  39. I know I feel better and have less anxiety when I exercise and if that makes me an addict, then I guess that's what it is.

    Hope your swimming went well :). And happy weekend!

  40. Totally addicted, in a healthy way and happy about it! There are a lot worse addictions and way more expensive!

  41. No throwing stuff around the garage or wherever you are right now :-)

  42. Jim ... 50after40 says:

    "Short-tempered, antsy, and ready to explode." describes this STUPID taper week … I need a run!!!

  43. I'm having a giveaway for some movie tickets for a running documentary coming out in March. Could you tell your bloggie friends about the giveaway? http://lazybonesrunning.blogspot.com/2011/02/giveaway-for-my-run-documentary-one.html


  44. The Green Girl says:

    Saw your post. ::big big hugs:: You are every bit entitled to vent every now and then. You are human.

  45. oooo, I struggled with this subject in December and it was SO hard. Being dependent on running is not the healthiest thing for me, I've learned. It really made me feel LOW when I couldn't do it. I'm switching it up now and adding swimming(like you)and soon, biking because I never want to feel what I was feeling in December, again!
    I hope the swimming is going well!

  46. Pinkhatrunner says:

    I welcome a few days off once in awhile. But more than a week and I start to get real Bitchy. I am hard to live with. I hope you get to run soon.

  47. I guess it's a matter of the addiction being a healthy one or not. Addiction is a weird word, though. Addiction takes over your whole life to where it interferes with your interpersonal relationships.

    Take care. I *know* what it's like!

  48. I am so with you. Everyone around this place runs for cover if I'm injured, tapering, or in a recovery week. I sour quicker than a Jolly Rancher on a hot sidewalk. The 1st step is to admit you have a problem, or so I'm told…..See, I don't think its a problem really…but then I don't really have to live w/ myself all that often! Hope you got your "fix" w/ the swm!

  49. MTV is still around? Who knew.

  50. Amanda@runninghood says:

    I'm a total bitch when I don't work out! :) Running and exercise is definitely my "happy pill"!

  51. Now imagine not running, peri-menopause and PMS rolled into one. That's me some days. Better stay away.
    Why do guys have it so easy?????

  52. Black Knight says:

    I have your same feeling, I think I am an exercise addict. After my surgeries I walked 4km every other day with the crutches and I went to the swimming pool on … the other "every other day".

  53. I could never understand before why people would complain when they didn't exercise, now I know why. I need to have something everyday. I am sending you big (((HUGS)))

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