I have regrets but none of them involve sweat. I worry sometimes that Even the Strong comes across as exercise evangelism. I don't think it can cure or save you. I don't even think you should exercise if you don't want to or can't for whatever reason. Not exercising is not a character flaw, in the same way your body is not flawed no matter what you look like. That's you and you're awesome.
But I know that it helps me in ways I'm still understanding. There's the science of its ability to elevate mood, the chemical reactions and neurotransmitters and physical adaptations. There's the useful metaphor of it, of pushing past my limits and feeling strong and accomplishing goals. There's the mindfulness aspect, the way it forces me to live in the present for a moment, lest I fall on my face or drop something heavy on my trachea. There's also the community aspect, if you're into group classes or team sports or running buddies (which I only sometimes am). And I discover new things about it to love all the time.
It doesn't mean I always love sweating. It doesn't mean I always make it to the gym or the park. But I do always try to remind myself that it helps. That maybe no one thing, exercise or otherwise, can cure me. But if this thing and that thing and that other thing all help me in small ways, maybe together over time it will all help in a bigger way. Fitness takes time, but even that I'm finding therapeutic. It's been teaching me about how to hope, how to recoup, how to hold on, how to rest. That things go slow, but slow motion adds up faster than no motion.
More and more I find it's the metaphor of movement that I find more useful than anything. I sweat because it makes sense to me. I don't feel like I'm just working out. I'm working through shit, and I'm learning about myself in ways that I don't from just meditation and therapy. It's all part of that same mix to me. I believe in the importance of mind/body connection, and not in a Woo Woo new age way. Just because the connection is real, and I think it's important. It's there on the mat every time I'm finished. I sweat for the state of mind. How about you?