Yesterday, I went running, but only after I had this imaginary conversation with my brother:
Me: I don't want to go.
My brother (in my head): Just go for f-ing 20 minutes.
Me: F@&*-You. OK.
When I later had an actual conversation with my brother during which I told him about our imaginary one, he opined that successful exercising required two things:
1) A goal, such as running in a race and not losing ten pounds to fit into your skinny jeans.
2) An exercise partner you can't let down.
I don't think my brother's imaginary nagging was exactly the same thing as his being an actual exercise partner, but it was close enough. As for his goal of running in a charity event or a race or some such, I don't know. He was all, "That's your reward, you get to run the race." But to me, running a race with lots of other people, getting a t-shirt filled with corporate logos, seeing boxes and boxes of bottled water, this to me is no reward. I'd end up imaging how many emails got printed and filed for insurance purposes and how much paper was used approving the logos on the t-shirts and how most of those bottles of water were going to end up in a landfill. In other words, my brother's reward is my nightmare.
Stranger yet, when I tried to imagine what an immediate reward for running three times a week would be, I was hard pressed to come up with one other than "A new sports bra!" and "Feeling really sweaty and geekily cool at the end!"
It's good enough for me. And I don't have to worry about the charity runs; I can always just give when my obsessive-exerciser of a brother runs in the next one. He's always got one on the calendar. Weirdo.