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There's a light at the end of this tunnel...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Last night I attempted to move on to week 3 of my 8-week Couch to 5K training program. This week's intervals: Walk 2 minutes, Jog 3 minutes, done 5 times (total workout time: 25 minutes, not including warm up and cool down). I was a little hesitant about doing this, given that towards the end of the sessions last week (walk 3 min/jog 2, done 6 times), I ended up getting a stitch in my side.

But, here are a couple of things that happened last night and/or I learned:

1) I learned that when you have a cold wind blowing in your face, it's very difficult to get your breathing to settle into a rhythm

2) I can push myself further than I thought I could--I often settle for too little

3) A highly appropriate song came on during my last jogging session. "Tunnel" by Third Day. Now what cracked me up was that I was having a hard time pushing through the jogging and all I wanted to do was slow down to a walk. But I kept pushing myself and while I was pushing myself, the chorus came in: "There's a light at the end of this tunnel/There's a light at the end of this tunnel/For you, for you/There's a light at the end of this tunnel/Shining bright at the end of this tunnel/So keep hanging on..."


I love how sometimes that little bit of encouragement I need is given at just the right moment.

The whole last half of my walk/jog, I found myself kind of dragging my feet (so to speak) and not really wanting to push myself. I had motivation when I reached the halfway point--it was going to go more quickly and I'd be home much sooner if I completed my jogging sessions. I was too far away to settle for just walking. I couldn't call anyone for a ride--I didn't have my phone on me and besides, my dad was off at his practice.

As I got nearer to home, though, the motivation chnaged...I had to find reasons to get through the jogging sessions. I would mutter to myself and had a lot of self-talk going on in my head, encouraging myself to keep it up. "C'mon! You can do it! Look how far you've gone! Almost there! Just a bit further and you can go home and eat!" I hadn't eaten dinner yet. ;)

Then, this morning a totally surreal thing happened. I was trying out a new (to me) water aerobics class. There was much jumping, jogging, sprinting, arm waving, and core-working involved. And just as I was tiring out (within ten minutes of starting, I kid you not), I let my inner voice take over and I started chanting encouraging things to myself in my head.

But then suddenly, those things that were running around inside my head, those bits of encouragement to keep going and push through, to make it stronger and better than I had before were being spoken--not just spoken, but SHOUTED out loud. And it took me a moment to realize that I wasn't the one doing the shouting--my instructor was.

I have been exercising outside of a class setting for so long that it took some time for me to adjust to not having to keep up a running conversation with myself encouraging me to push it.

Well, that's not entirely true. In Zumba, my instructor is encouraging and says things like "Looking good!" And "Keep it up!" but for some reason I don't tend to associate those comments with me personally (don't ask me why, I don't know).

So, after spending so much time (outside of Zumba) having to push myself and talk myself through a workout, it was weird to have someone else talk me through it. But you know, it was also quite a relief as well. It was nice not to have to put extra mental effort into coaching myself through the next thing, to only worry about what my legs and arms were doing.

Sometimes I think we get to that point in the journey, when we get so used to talking ourselves through something--trying to press on until we see something completed. We lose sight of the fact that there are other people in our lives--people who are meant to be an encouragement to us and can jump in when we least expect it, but most definitely need it the most.

So, to my Spark friends, thank you for your support and encouragement. Whether you realize it or not, you are a large reason why I am trying so hard to stick to this road. Thank you for being there for me through thick (literally) and thin (hopefully literally as well).
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    You blog is very thought-provoking! I was especially interested in your self-coaching. I probably don't do that enough, but I am going to work on it in the future. Isn't is nice to have the encouragement of the SparkTeam? I was very surprised to find out how helpful it is to have this type of support.

    3420 days ago

    Comment edited on: 2/24/2011 7:33:21 PM
    Thank God for friends! emoticon (and I love Third Day! It always makes my day when God uses that one song at just the right time...) Congrats on pushing yourself through mentally to make it home! :) emoticon
    3422 days ago
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