Overcoming mental barriers
Tuesday, July 02, 2013
My Spark friend Owl 20 posted a blog called "A Body on the Couch Wants to Stay There" and her pride at overcoming lack of motivation reminded of how I felt during my 5k Your Way program.
About half of my runs were reasonably good, predictable. I felt like I was strong enough to manage training for a much longer distance. The other half of my runs sucked. If I didn't have asthma within the first two or three minutes, it was a miracle. I snorted and wheezed and gasped and blew my nose and slogged my way through it like a very old person who had no business outside a hospital. Often for a few minutes I'd think, "What in the heck do I think I'm doing? Am I nuts? Why don't I just pass out Gatorade to people who can really run?"
But having worked as a caregiver for plenty of patients with COPD, emphysema and lung cancer, I had a motivation to keep practicing whatever cardiorespiratory exercise I thought I could learn to love. And I had it in my head that running was going to be it.
Sometimes my body baffled me. I threw up once. Other times I'd be fine and suddenly feel like I had a massive fever. I was sick with some bug or something no one has yet diagnosed (my husband still has it but I'm on the mend). But I kept going. I bought books on running and watched movies about other people who had issues far greater than mine.
Owl 20 wrote in her blog after she returned from a run that she completed, even though she began it completely unmotivated: "I think I treasure these days as 'wins' more than the days I get out and kick butt."
I definitely feel better about myself after I complete a difficult run. Those are the runs that say who I am as a person. The easy ones say my legs are pretty strong for an aging gal, but they say nothing about character.
And besides, I realized that the more "bad" experiences I racked up, the more experiences I racked up. I was going to be better prepared for my first race... and my second and my third. Because who needs to prepare for the days when everything goes perfectly?
So what about you? What barrier in your head will you knock down today?