How To Keep Going
Thursday, April 14, 2011
In a rush for class, I packed my bag. Sneakers, check. Running tights, check. Sports bra, check. Headphones, check. T-shirt, check! After sitting down at the table to have breakfast-- 1/2 Cinnamon Raisin bagel with a light spread of peanut butter and Strawberry jelly (YUM!) and a cup of Suisse Mocha-- I ran off to class. I was attentive and highly interested in Film class. Directors like Coppola? Movies like The Graduate? I'm there! Afterward, I enjoyed a good hour and fifteen of ballet. Then I followed it up with a trip to the gym. I was ready. I had forgotten my workout socks, which were supposed to wick away moisture and provide cushion but did nothing of the sort, so regular socks were just as good as any. I pulled my headphones, and dug in my bag for my little cheerleader (known commonly as an iPod). A quick swipe of my hand through the bag produced nothing. No. This couldn't be happening. I'd forgotten headphones on non-run days, and I'd had days when my little cheerleader lost energy halfway through my non-run workouts but I was about to go for a run. How could I run without my cheerleader? Who would motivate me? What would keep me from getting distracted and thinking about all those other people on the track who were probably making fun of the stupid way I run? Or how slow I run?
Frantically, I checked again. I pulled my sweater out, pulled my t-shirt out, knocked things around. It had to be in my bag. There's no way I'd forget it.
But I did, it was sitting pleasantly on my desk when I returned home, but after discovering I hadn't brought it to the gym I only had two choices: Go home or go run.
Dejected, I got up and stepped onto the track. I reminded myself that I wasn't going to be able to use my cheerleader during the NYRR 10K in June, so I might as well see what it feels like to run without the outside motivation. I concentrated on my breathing. Then that got boring so I concentrated on picking up my pace. Some times, my concentration was broken because my mind naturally wanders and because I suspect I have a very mild attention-deficit. At some points, I'm not really sure what I thought about. I just kept running, anticipating the end of 3 miles.
I ran my fastest time to date. Then I hopped on the elliptical and actually, by then I'd completely forgotten that I didn't have music.
So how do you keep going when it seems nothing is working the way it should? Well, clear your mind and just go for it. Don't think about the reasons why you shouldn't. Literally: clear your mind, forget about thinking and just do it.
Then go with the flow.