Day 9: EXERCISE (The July “I Believe…” Challenge)

by Dani Fake Webb on July 9, 2010

(If you’re new to this challenge, take a look at the intro video explaining the concept.
You can get more details on how to participate.
And click here for the daily categories.)

Today’s Category: Exercise

The following video summarizes three things I believe about exercise:

  1. It’s the best defense against depression.
    If I am not careful, depression can sneak up on me and overtake my days. I have learned that if exercise is not a part of every week, it is much more likely that I will slip into a down state. I can’t say I understand why this is, but it is powerful enough that I accept it and make exercise a part of my life (which I have NEVER done before).
  2. You must know your why.
    Exercise is too hard and takes too much effort to do just because you should. You have to have a why. A soul level-this-will-keep-me-motivated why. In fact, the need for a powerful why is what has stopped me from committing to a marathon. I’ve walked one half marathon, run two half marathons, and am signed up for another this fall. But I can’t seem to get my mind around a big enough why to commit to the whole marathon. So I am waiting and exploring my soul, seeing if a why is there. It’s the only way I’ll do it.
  3. You have to “just put your shoes on.”
    Exercise can be daunting. It takes a lot of effort! If we try to think of everything all at once (find the right clothes get the equipment ready drive to the gym pack clean clothes plan the route of the run put air in the bike tires fight for the elliptical spend an hour lifting weights take a shower drive back home oh dear god I’m just going to stay here on the couch.) Exhausting. So, only think of the next thing. The one teeny weeny little next step. If you try to think of the whole process at once, it’ll be that much harder. Just put your shoes on. Then do the next thing. Then the next. Then the next. Repeat until you are done.

Those are my thoughts on exercise. How about you? What do you believe?

Until next time, may you love  your life today.



Absolutely!  Just be sure to include this complete blurb with it:

Dani Fake Webb is a coach, retreat facilitator, speaker, and writer. She is also the founder of Destination: Life!, a company dedicated to helping people discover their passion, live their purpose, and love their life.  If you want to learn more about living a fulfilled, purposeful life, you can sign up for a FRE*E subscription to the Destination: Life! E-Zine. Just click here: Or, contact Dani directly at


{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Tia Singh, Coach T.I.A July 10, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Dani, I LOVE YOU!!! I love that you hopped on the call looking all exercised out & gorgeous, love that you made a vid (I’m always checking to see if you’ve got a new vid up hehe). For the 1st time in my life, I’ve been working out & exercising for the past 3 months (with a 3 week dip) and it only happened when I changed my top value to ALIVENESS & VITALITY and co-related exercise to it. Making it a value is what motivates me to go.

Also, there are times when you’re in my head. I keep my shoes by the door and when I don’t feel like going, I’ll think of your FB status from ages ago “Dear Dani, Put your shoes on, Love, Dani” and I put my shoes on. I’m not kidding!! So you’re an inspiration to me and my fitness goal :) Thank you!!

Annie Wolfe July 10, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Growing up, exercise was not just how I felt good, or improved my outlook on life, or even a way to embrace my mind/body connection, it was a way to control. This control grew deep roots in me, so much so that I don’t know how to think of exercise without simultaneously thinking of bondage. I have never known freedom in exercise, though there are few things in life that give me as much pleasure as profuse sweating and sore muscles.

I believe that if I could let my “why” in exercise be just because “I” want to, it would change my life.

My whole life I have loved to move. Dancing, running, skiing, swimming, ice-skating, soccer, football, etc. But somewhere in my life I lost the connection of joy I found in these activities and began to use exercise as a means of controlling myself. It doesn’t take long for this type of controlling mindset to drain all of the enjoyment of experience out of an activity.

I believe I have lost a connection that I do not know how to get back, and perhaps have never truly known, though I continue to try with everything in me. Over the last few years I have run 2 half marathons, 1 sprint triathlon, joined a co-ed soccer team for nearly two seasons, run various 5k races, and swam in our neighborhood pool, along with family backyard football and volleyball matches, and playing with our kids. All these wonderful, freeing, life-giving activities, and yet still when I hear or read the word “exercise” I have a deep soul level ache of bondage. I don’t know how to loose myself from this controlling mindset.

Thanks for your simple clarity on the subject, Dani. It is good for me to be able to see that it is my “why” that needs to change, and though it feels impossible, you have shown me that my thoughts stem from a place of belief………so………I believe that I have some “belief” work to do around the word “exercise”. Can we say C.T.F.A.R????? :0)

Annie Wolfe July 10, 2010 at 3:32 pm

BTW, loved, loved, loved the video clip, and envy that refreshed, exhausted look on your face! I love that feeling! I trust one day soon I will feel it with freedom, and not bondage :)

Jennifer Armstrong July 10, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Hi Dani:

Thank you so much for this clip. As I stated on Facebook, I had a strong, “Why should I when it makes me feel like ——?” Now that I have literally stopped that (it has been three weeks and I am a happy exerciser), I want to become even more intentional with my thoughts and why.

I will be coming back here to watch and read your post as I plan my next steps. Have a great weekend.


Rick Hamrick July 10, 2010 at 9:03 pm

Dani–your willingness to put yourself on camera while still in “just ran” mode is inspirational. All of us could do with a bit less effort spent on the mask, and more on what’s behind it.

I would add one little mindset thingy which works wonders for me: each small step you complete as you choose to move closer and closer to first leaving the house and then running, think, “Okay, that was easy!” If you have the process broken into five steps, you will have told yourself it was easy five times once you get that far.

There really is a place in our heads which can be soothed this way, and it happens to be the very same place where “This is soooo hard” lives. I’m not claiming that this choice of exclaiming the ease with which each step is taken turns exercise into a dream adventure which I cannot wait to engage in, but it does seem to require less of me to get going if I nod positively and mutter how easy it is.

For me, it is either the stationary bike or using kettlebells. Both have steps which are required in preparation for doing any exercise, and using your technique of breaking it down into steps and my technique of acknowledging how easy each step is in that moment, I’m doing better at it than I have in months. And it is not even January!

For more on the broader concept of ease, visit Seriously, it is a lot of fun!

Kirk Webb July 10, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Exercise is, of course, necessary for our bodies to thrive. Stress is part of the growing process in both body and soul. Exercise stresses the body, tears it down, and then leaves room for a maturing process that makes us stronger. Exercise is the honoring of our bodies and thus it can be a spiritually enhancing experiencing. Self-care, when it is not for “selfish” gains, is an essential aspect of the breaking down and building up journey that nourishes and matures the soul and body. Exercise is both a physical and metaphorical opportunity to engage that journey.

Ellen Stoune July 10, 2010 at 10:29 pm

Dani, I loved the video! I totally resonated with “just put your shoes on”. This morning I was SO tempted to crawl back into bed and I really had to work to get out the door. I totally did it by taking each small step while giving myself permission to take the shorter route if I chose to. I’m so glad I went on my ride anyway as it was one of the best I’ve had all season. And yeah, I went the long way that included a hill that I was really intimated over and I got over that sucker just fine!

PS: You rock those pig tails, girl!

Dani Fake Webb July 12, 2010 at 10:02 pm

I love that I am in your head Tia! ha! And thanks for the kudos for jumping on the video straight from a run. It’s a little gross but just felt so appropriate! :)

Dani Fake Webb July 12, 2010 at 10:07 pm

@Annie: Say it girl! Work on those thoughts!!!! And a “why” of “Because “I” want to feels POWERFUL!!

Dani Fake Webb July 12, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Jennifer – I’d love to hear how this progresses for you!

Dani Fake Webb July 12, 2010 at 10:08 pm

Rick, YES! “This is easy!!” I can easily add that to the mix! Thanks for your thoughts…. :)

Dani Fake Webb July 12, 2010 at 10:11 pm

Ellen – isn’t it funny how if we tell ourselves we don’t have to do the “big hard thing” and give permission for the “smaller, easier thing,” our bodies often do the “Bigger, harder thing” anyway!! (Remind me of this as my training mileage increases!)

Kristin Zetterholm July 13, 2010 at 12:59 pm

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: