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I'm Not A Superhero, You Know

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Here's a topic that we haven't covered in a little while. Seeing as I have had so many new SparkFriends jump on my blog bandwagon lately, I thought it important to repeat this message for them. For you longtimers...it's always a good reminder.

It would be great if I was some exercise superhero who always did everything perfectly and had an undying fire for training, which I could use to spread motivation to the masses. Perhaps some of you see me that way...who knows?

The truth is...and it's important for everyone to know...I'm just some girl in Indiana who decided to take control of her life and change things. Do you think I started this journey wanting to be a triathlete? HAHAHA! NO!

I started by running for 10 seconds. Doing C25K. Running a little more. Deciding to build in some consistency and make sure I do my runs 3 times a week. Then, signing up for races. When injury came (as it always will for any serious runner...another little lesson I learned), I watched a YouTube video on swimming. I don't know about you, but I'm not seeing a fitness titan anywhere in here yet.

Got in the pool, copied the YouTube video. Did it over and over and over and over and over and over again...the entire month of August. Got on my bike and shakily road 2 miles - first time in 20 years on a bike. Scary as hell. Too scared to turn...had to stop the bike, manually turn the entire thing, then keep pedaling on the straightaways. But....kept riding. Again and again. And, admittedly, not as much as I've run and swim. Still my weakest discipline. Work in progress.

When you see me post blogs about a breakthrough mile swim or finishing my first half marathon, those are huge victories for me. Yes...they deserve to be celebrated because I've worked hard to achieve those things. But...also keep in mind that I'm still very overweight. I still have quite a lot of work to do. I have built a LOT of endurance in the 7-8 months I've been seriously training, but I have so far to go.

None of us is perfect. But, when it comes to self-motivation...I can tell you with full honesty that I've got that one in the bag. And the key is this: just keep doing what you're doing. And don't stop. That's it.

Last night was an awful night, guys. My sleep was not good. Emotional upheaval all around me. I woke up later than I wanted to and I did NOT want to do anything. This is nothing new. This happened to me quite frequently in the spring and summer when I was scheduled for morning training runs. If you remember, I still did them. And, likewise, today...I got my butt out of bed and I went to the Y and got in that pool.

When I run, I can tell you now that even though I've finished a half marathon, I absolutely question everything I love about running EVERY SINGLE TIME I run...for the first two miles. It takes TWO MILES for me to even WANT to be running. You have to hang in there. You have to get past that first bit of pain.

With swimming, and particularly this morning, even though it is my sanctuary, my heaven on earth...I still sometimes just don't want to do it. This is where consistency in training is so key. On the days like today when my thoughts are dark and I'm not loving being in the pool...my body does what it knows to do...automatically. On these days, it takes at least 20 lengths of the pool for me to even have a small fraction of a desire to be in the water. TWENTY LENGTHS!

What I'm saying is...do what you have to do. Get through the crappy workouts, even if it feels like a waste of time. You'll always be glad you did. I promise.

And, in the end...the ultimate goal (whatever that may be for you....for me, it's certain special races that I can only dream of doing somdeday at this point) will make all of these mundane training days worth it.

People ask me how I stick to my training schedule. That's it. I plan things out ahead of time (at hours I know I'll be available to work out....almost always when my kids are still sleeping) and...I just do it. Again and again and again.

It's not always exciting. It's not glamorous. It's not even fun sometimes. Sometimes it sucks. And that's reality, folks.

You either want it or you don't.

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