I know there are some people who love the pain and physical stress of working out. Other people (like me) have to focus on something to get through that work out. Not only that, but I have to get myself hyped up for it every day. ("Yes! Feel those love handles! They're gonna burn, baby burn! Today's the day!")
I make it a habit to get to the gym. I usually go three days a week for two hours each. I love my work out. I'm not the same without it. (Since I don't have a car this week and I'm going out of town next week, I'm seriously missing my gym.) But some classes (like spinning), no matter how many times I go, I still dread it. I still have to talk myself into it. I feel so great afterward, yet it is hard to get myself there.
So I prepare a mental place to go every time I work out. It's my own personal retreat, and I look forward to being there. My exercise is the time when I can go there and nobody can bother me. For me, it's my writing. I go to a scene in my book, something I've just written or something that's coming up, and I explore it. I watch it over and over again. It distracts me and makes me feel like I'm doing something worthwhile. And it holds my attention.
What about you? Where do you go (mentally) when you work out? (And remember, those of you who like grunting and focusing on the seconds ticking by while you enjoy the burning in your muscles, I'm not talking to you.)