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Training Woes: Old Tapes

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Training has been getting increasingly more intense in the past few weeks. Now that cycling is in full swing, I'm dealing with another injury. This doesn't surprise me since every time I change something up in my training routine or add something new to it, I seem to gain another injury. Hopefully, much like the others, this injury will wind up being a small matter in the larger scheme of things. Regardless, I'm proud to say I've learned from my prior injuries and my experiences with them and have pulled the plug on cycling for this week rather than pushing through the pain. I simply need to go slow when I add something new.

Yesterday, when this new injury finally benched me from a workout, I hit a familiar wall. When I realized I'd need to change my routine and avoid my usual Monday morning spin class, those old tapes started spinning, telling me I'm somehow failing: failing my body, failing my training program, failing my trainers, failing myself. I sank into that and, I'll confess, DID despair for a little while. Part of it is that I'd heard from several people that I'd made a bad call in pushing too much too fast--and got a little sensitive to the suggestion that I'd made an ignorant decision! A much bigger part of it is that I was already feeling warn down from YET ANOTHER weekend without enough sleep and with too much food that I don't normally eat. It's become painfully obvious to me that just because I CAN eat more or get away with eating less-than-stellar foods right now since I'm training so much, doesn't mean I WANT to eat those things--or SHOULD eat those things--or SHOULD eat those things AND expect my body to perform as usual. Some crappy sundried tomato basil wheat thins and a hefty meal of chinese food later, and my Monday morning workout felt like a hefty kick in the pants. And I strengthened the kick by playing that old tape that suggests that one meal and one week of adjusting my training schedule makes me a failure.

Since reading The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion, I've become an even bigger advcoate than I was already of treating one's self with kindness, understanding, and, well, compassion. I didn't do that yesterday. The good news is that I recognized this, reached out for help from a VERY "safe" friend, and then took care of myself the rest of the day. Today I am able to put a friendly arm around my own shoulder and recognize that the person who lets those tapes play has a lot of fears--fears of going back to a really terrible way of living, fear of gaining weight back, fear of what others will (or won't) think of her, fear of looking back and thinking she didn't try hard enough or do enough... the list goes on. And the way she traditionally responds to those fears is right in those tapes. The compassionate part of me understands this--and doesn't blame her. That old life was pretty scary and terrible sometimes. Recognizing this means recognizing the lack of substance behind those old tapes. I'm not failing anyone or anything, and I really didn't make a bad call in training how I did. But the compassionate thing to do right now would be to take care of the injury and make space for the feelings that I have. And so that's what I'm doing.

I'm also, incidentally, using the time that I can't spend cycling doing other things--like some good uphill walking on the treadmill, using the elliptical, and some other quad-strengthening exercises that will help me avoid my current injury in the future. Today I'm going to enjoy my scheduled run and swim and focus on my gratitude for what's going well and honor THAT.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    your body always lets you know when its time to switch things up and do something new - you have learned to listen and this is SUCH a good thing. i am so with you on the old tapes, if i eat 'over' a cpl days in a row i am suddenly 290 again, i have to get on the scale and reassure myself, regardless of fluctuations, that i am not nearly 100 lbs ago, not the same woman, not the same activity level....etc, it is hard to bust down those old walls and burn those evil tapes - but we will do it! all about trusting in ourselves and honouring the process!

    thank you so much for your kind words on my blog re: sickness and balancing workouts/life - it is AWESOME that fitness isn't my sole focus and that i can ride the ebb and flow without giving up totally, you made me realize that is something to be quite proud about!
    2942 days ago
    Ya know Melissa, I have had a really difficulkt time trying to conjur up the definition of a hero and what they really do until I became your friend, and then reading you blogs, mostly the ones you wrote AFTER you reached your goals, a light went on in my head.

    A hero is someone who has the courage and the resolve to walk over ground, and experience things they havent before and quite frankly that most of us are scared to try and have the strength to make it to the other side, no matter how difficult the journey.

    A hero is someone who doesnt quit, doesnt give up and doesnt give in no matter how hard it becomes. A lot of times a hero feel so all alone because when they look to their left and right they find they are often standing alone. Not many people share their courage and resolve.

    Thanks for being a hero Melissa. Thanks for showing me how its supposed to be done...... the right way.

    Much Love

    2943 days ago
  • FREES1
    may your compassionate self help your fearful self erase most of those tapes... a little fear of returning to where you were is a good thing to help keep you from falling too far...

    a little chinese food and wheat thins IN moderation aren't going to do you in... enjoy a little of everything and deny yourself nothing that you really want.. just be mindful of the portions.

    keep the faith - you are learning how to incorporate new activities... you'll continue to learn! and may you heal quickly!
    2944 days ago
    Can't say anything but that you are growing in knowledge and spirit. You are a beautiful soul, inside and out. Peace in your journey, and I'm proud that you've decided to honor and enjoy what you CAN do instead of feeling that you've let yourself down.

    2946 days ago
    emoticon That you have come to realise you can do other types of trianing! Well done!
    2946 days ago
    Love it!
    2946 days ago

    You are amazing and beautiful! And - I think I need this book STAT! emoticon
    2947 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/29/2011 3:57:30 PM
    You are such a beautiful person! I'm getting that book on Amazon ASAP!
    2947 days ago
  • BANAN2
    I believe the things you are learning now are even more important than the things you learned up to this point. Good to see you still keeping mindful and self-aware and learning to handle the things life throws at you with compassion and patience and belief in your worth, no matter what. SO important!!!! I'm proud of you!
    2947 days ago
    Good for you! The best part of this post was reading that you had reached out to a safe friend for moral and emotional support. Now that you have those safe friends, you can be even kinder to yourself than before.

    Rock on sister!
    2947 days ago
    WOOHOO for being smart about your injury and shutting down those mental tapes! See my blog from today if you haven't already - I SOOOO relate!
    2947 days ago
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