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Just do it

I was running on the trail a while ago and passed someone wearing a Nike t-shirt printed with the company’s slogan, “Just do it.” It was at that moment, as I was huffing and puffing, kind of wishing I could go home and lay on the couch, that I finally got the Nike slogan. Just do it. Oh! Like, just do it. Don’t whine. Don’t bitch. Don’t moan. Just get off your ass and do it, it being whatever you want to do in life. It was like finally understanding the punch line to “Why did the chicken cross the road?” (Which I understood instantly as a child and did not take a couple of years to parse and appreciate the humor of.) I’ve seen the Nike slogan plastered all over the place so frequently that I never stopped to think about what it really meant.

I was trying to remember that slogan at six o’clock in the morning when I was supposed to get up to run. However I decided to just “do” sleep instead. It’s so much easier to think I will get up in the morning to exercise when I am not actually sleepy and wrapped in a warm cocoon of quilts and cat fur. Which sucks, because I generally feel better during the day if I’ve exercised in the morning, even if I have to pee three times before lunch because of all the water I’ve drunk. Tomorrow I’ll try to be more Nike-like and actually “do” my morning exercise, but today I’ll have to just do an evening run instead.

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27 Comments

Inny • September 22, 2008 at 8:20 am

Getting up early really sucks, doesn’t it? I wish I was a morning person, but it’s just impossible for me to get up. When I exercised back in the US I always did it in the evening.

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Helen • September 22, 2008 at 8:46 am

I get up every day by 4:15 to get out the door by 4:45 to run or go to the gym. I agree that it’s harder as the sun rises later and the nights are cooler but still I do it. Why you ask? Because if I did not make myself just do this, I would not exercise at all.

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hanlie • September 22, 2008 at 9:11 am

I needed to hear this message today! Thanks PQ!

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Leigh anne • September 22, 2008 at 9:26 am

I had to LOL at the pee comment as I got up to use the bathroom for the 5th time this morning (it’s 10:22). I had to fight myself this morning to get up and head out the door by 5:30. But it’s done and I have that achy sore but in a good way feeling to remind me to make good food choices today. And tonight I get to laze around on the couch instead of going for a run.

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David Crowell • September 22, 2008 at 9:38 am

Yep, that’s what you got to do.

I hadn’t been bicycling much recently. My weight loss had stalled. I asked around for advice on motivation on bikeforums.net, and the general consensus was “just do it”.

So yesterday, I went on a 60-mile ride. That’s the longest I’ve ever done. I rode into work today, so by the time I ride back home tonight, that’ll be another 33 miles.

Just do it.

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Debbi • September 22, 2008 at 10:10 am

I was talking about the same thing last week – the whining, moaning and procrastinating doesn’t help me feel like a grown-up, and avoiding or delaying exercise doesn’t help me feel healthy. So what am I doing right now? Postponing a walk … heh.

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Mal • September 22, 2008 at 10:36 am

I gotta say, I’ve never been successful at early morning exercise. I love my mornings — lolling around, long showers, making delicious breakfasts (takes time!) cuddling the puppies as I read blogs. I have way more success with exercising later in the evening, watching John Stewart and Stephen Colbert run down the world’s ridiculousness, and releasing all the frustrations of the day.

Guess it just depends on what works for you.

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Melanie • September 22, 2008 at 11:04 am

Just Do It! Could also mean ‘don’t worry about what may happen or what someone may think – do it anyway’. I like your interpretation better though! So how is Nike ‘really’ pronounced? Nike like Mike or Nike as in Nikie? Just pondering… :)

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Kqteaze • September 22, 2008 at 11:24 am

Just a bit of trivia for those who may not have heard this: Nike was the goddess of triumph or victory in Greek Mythology, so a pretty good name for a (fitness) shoe company.

I’m not a morning person either, so I never manage to make it up to exercise before work. I always have good intentions the night before but you know what they say about good intentions. I do most of my exercising in the early evening right after work although sometimes I put it off until way after dinner. I don’t know why it’s so hard to be motivated to get it done when I know that I will feel better if I do it than if I don’t.

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MizFit • September 22, 2008 at 12:13 pm

II so DONT DO IT if it DONT GET DONE in the morning.

once the day becomes about others it’s over for me :)

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BB • September 22, 2008 at 12:15 pm

Interesting….I was thinking about the same slogan while I was at the gym yesterday. I had to drag my lazy butt off the couch from an afternoon nap.(Yes, a nap-I still love ’em) to make myself go to the gym. The Nike theme was in my head too. I realize how much better I feel after actually exercising. I can never get myself to go in the AM-sleep always wins out for me.

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Meg • September 22, 2008 at 1:27 pm

Mmm yes, the struggle to free oneself from the comfyness of a warm bed.

The Nike slogan is just one of a slew of “inspiring” slogans I remember originating in the early 90’s. There was the “I believe” campaign, also I think by a shoe company (possibly Nike) which showed various women working out doing hard core things like kicking a heavy bag or getting all sweaty in step class, with The words “I believe” followed by some little inspirational thing about getting in shape.

Were the 90’s perhaps more inspirational ad wise? Because now all i notice is really skinny people in not enough clothing making “sexy” faces….

-Meg

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amy • September 22, 2008 at 2:35 pm

I tend to find encouragment here all the time! THanks!

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Marla • September 22, 2008 at 3:49 pm

I always interpreted the slogan as “disregard all the reasons for NOT doing the thing; just up and do it.” — “Up and” being completely comprehensible to a Southerner; it implies lack of constraint. So I feel entirely free to whine, bitch, and moan while Doing It.

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Jill • September 22, 2008 at 3:59 pm

@MizFit – you took the words right outta my mouth Miz!!

I find that if I can do it early in the morning when I’m not fully awake, I feel like I got in a work out while I was sleeping!

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Niagaraview • September 22, 2008 at 6:22 pm

Work aside, It’s very difficult to find some activity or event that will make me choose IT over sleep. The only thing that has won within the past five years? Watching a 15 story building being imploded.

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Sara • September 22, 2008 at 6:49 pm

I am an evening exerciser who fervently wishes that the morning workout was anything more than a well intentioned pipe dream.

But tomorrow morning, I’m going to attempt to break my year long streak of hitting snooze and get my fat ass up early and hit the gym.

I’m just going to do it. I’m serious.

And I’ll curse your name the whole time, and then mutter it as a blessing when I feel fantastic all day!

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Alexia • September 22, 2008 at 9:40 pm

My day was crazy, so it’s 9:40pm and I’m on my bike for my 10miles just bleepin’ doing it. I know I’ll feel better after it’s done. But right now I’m an old crank.

Oh, and I was going to try the pumpkin/cool whip free yumminess and my can of pumpkin expired in 2004. Oops. Back to store tomorrow…

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Merry • September 23, 2008 at 12:30 am

Sometimes “Just Do It” isn’t always good advice.

If you’re sitting in front of a plate full of chocolate eclairs.

If you work for a suicide hotline.

If someone dares you to flip off your manager.

On the other hand… I work by Nike’s headquarters (The “World Campus”). It’s a lovely place to walk through at lunch time (jogging trails, walking trails, ornamental lake), but everyone there looks to be in good shape. So I suppose the company practices its own motto.

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skaakiko • September 23, 2008 at 1:53 am

I once had a similar experience while watching an interview with David Blaine. The person interviewing him asked how he got in such good physical shape for his stunts. He stated he tells himself that there is no other option. He has to exercise, just as much as he has to breathe. He doesn’t give himself the option of not doing it. I have tried to tell myself the same thing when it comes to eating right and exercising, but so far my brain knows the world wont end if I just take a nap instead.

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nolafwug • September 23, 2008 at 9:06 am

The a.m. is the only regular time I can count on my bf to watch the kids so I started getting up at 5 each day. For the first 2-4 weeks I was thinking I’d need to call in a crane to haul my arse out of bed. Fortunately I am such a creature of habit that now that I’m over that hump (it’s been 9 months) getting up early to run is just something I do, like breathing. It’s nice not to have the stress of trying to fit it into the latter part of the day when I’m pulled in a million directions at once by work, family, distractions, etc. Because I know at those times I would probably “Just Do” something else instead.

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terryocean • September 23, 2008 at 3:35 pm

Oh mornings…I am totally relating to you here…I have done the morning exercise about 5 times…thats all I could get out of me…because my cat kept whining…other than that I just cant do it…I “do” sleeping as well, but it does make you feel more energized and accomplished if you do get your bum up…gosh I really should try and do that more…

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Liz Remus • September 24, 2008 at 10:32 am

Is there something to get about the chicken joke? I’m 23 and I still don’t get it.

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PastaQueen • September 24, 2008 at 10:51 am

@Liz Remus – The punchline is that there is no punchline. My 5-year-old brain never quite understood that.

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FTBLGGR • November 28, 2008 at 12:03 pm

Your blog is truly inspiring. I just added you to my blogroll. I recently began a new blog to document my weight loss journey. Jason Calacanis calls it fatblogging, but I didn’t feel the name was appropriate since successful fatbloggers will eventually be skinny. So I called my blog ftblggr (removing the vowels) so I can transform from a fatblogger to a fitblogger.

I’m now trying to recruit others to join me in this movement by writing about their diet & exercise on their blogs and tagging their blog posts with ftblggr. You are a pioneer in ftblggng so I just wanted to say hi and see if you’d join the movement.

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mandy • February 4, 2009 at 9:11 pm

It feels so great to exercize. Why is it so hard to start? This is what I ask myself daily.

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ellie • January 23, 2010 at 1:10 am

im australian so in my world “Nike-like” does not ryhme lol

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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