Thursday, September 10, 2009

Men Are From Mars, Women From Venus?

Do men find physical activity emotional at all?

I'm asking this out of pure curiosity. Because for me, and many other women, physical activity can be very emotional.

With all that I've been going through, being physically active has brought on a lot of emotion. Some good, some bad. But emotion all the same. For me, I kind of feel that the crying I do on a run or in yoga class is me leaving a bit of my pain on the road or on the mat. Those tears represent me letting go and I feel a little better when I'm done. Both because I've had a killer workout and because my heart is filled with less pain.

I know from speaking with other women athletes that this is common for women. Even those that aren't going through a traumatic experience. Just the act of completing a physically demanding workout can bring emotion on.

I understand that big moments will bring on emotion such as finishing that first big race. I'm talking about more run-of-the-mill emotion. Emotion you weren't expecting.

Do men feel this? And please don't take my curiosity as an affront. I am genuinely interested in this. With this being the first very emotional time in my life, I've never experienced this before. Physical activity never brought on this type of emotion before. Is that the key? Do you have to go through a traumatic event in order for emotion to be so on the surface? I don't think so.

Please, guys, I really want to know if you ever feel emotional either during or after a workout. And I don't mean just crying and weeping all over the place. Would an especially hard workout make your emotions come to the surface more than something else?


  1. I don't remember feeling emotional during or after a workout--at least, not in the way you've described. I do remember feeling a sense of pride and positive emotion when I've accomplished a workout or race goal. Interesting question and kind of a curious reaction you've experienced. I imagine it's common.

  2. I have just stumbled upon your blog and find myself in self examination as I respond to your question of whether men experience emotion as women do within the context of working out or racing. Of course we all, men and women alike, experience endorphine induced giddiness. I always feel an emotion of accomplishment at the end of a run, whether it's a training run or a race. But I think where I come closest to the emotion you are describing is at the start of a race. It doesn't have to be a big race. It might be just a few hundred runners; it doesn't matter. What does matter is that there is a pooling of energy and ambition. This is when I experience an emotion which can cause my eyes to tear and my heart to swell (in a healthy way!).

  3. Thanks, guys, for your comments. It's nice to know that emotion when working out isn't strictly a female thing. I have found that when I first started getting emotional when I ran it was somewhat debilitating. But I've definitely been able to kind of use the emotion as fuel and get through it.

    Thanks for reading and writing. That's why I love this sport! It brings people together!