If I’m being honest, I don’t like working out. I don’t consider it a hobby and I don’t do it for fun, but I have realized after 21 years of living on this Earth that working out is simply a necessity. I don’t take gym selfies because there’s nothing actually impressive about going to the gym.

Anyway, while I was at the gym one particular day, I was having a hard time focusing on my workout. I had gotten into a basic routine and though I tried adding more weight and new machines to the mix, I was still bored. If anything, trying to make the gym exciting but realizing it simply wasn’t made me want to quit even more.

My playlist was old and I didn’t particularly feel like listening to one of those pre-made playlists on Spotify. So, while looking back through my phone, I had remembered an audiobook I had started and deserted a little over a month before and I decided to give it another go. It was that or leave the gym for the day, so I pressed play.

And it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

I was first inspired to begin listening to audiobooks when my 20-something-year-old sister, who is both married and the mother of a newborn baby girl, told me that she began listening to audiobooks on her commute to work and recommended I do the same. I was skeptical at first, considering that the only time I remember ever listening to an audiobook was as a child when my parents started "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" on a family vacation to Disney World (we got to the second task and then went to see the movie version in theaters). I was worried that if I didn’t have any free time to read on my own, how was I going to find the time to listen to an audiobook while in school? Plus, I felt as though I could finish a book more quickly than I could listen to the same book read aloud to me. Nevertheless, I did as my sister had and started listening to an audiobook.

It’s true that I had I temporarily had forgotten about the audiobook, but the day I began listening to it in the gym was the day I realized listening to an audiobook at the gym is the best motivation I could ever ask for.

While a house music playlist may be great at keeping adrenaline going, music can sometimes get repetitive. An audiobook, on the other hand, is a constant progression of new and exciting plot twists that kept me listening. Still paying close attention to proper gym safety and etiquette, my workouts didn’t seem to be so bad anymore. The longer I spent in the gym exercising, the more of my audiobook I got to listen to. The audiobook also kept me going back to the gym because I finally had something to look forward to besides prospects of a nice body in the future. I kept up my workouts until I finished my audiobook. Then, I moved onto a new audiobook and continued my progress.

The more I listened to audiobooks, the more unexpected improvements in my health I noticed. Besides exercising more, I also began to eat healthier as well. I used to hate cooking since I could just grab some Chipotle to go, but now, I don’t mind spending a little time a few nights a week cooking healthy meals as long as I can listen to my audiobook as I do it.

And if there’s anyone who considers audiobooks as “cheating” because it’s not actually reading (1. Let me live my life and 2. You’re wrong), know that I actually have started reading more too. I’ve swapped Netflix for novels before bed and I think I’m getting better sleep because of it.

I didn’t expect this to happen, but I sure am glad it did. I rediscovered classic storytelling and would recommend listening to audiobooks to anyone looking for a positive change in their life.