The physical and mental strength are tied together in some way. Wanting to become stronger and having the mental ability to will yourself to do it is an example of this. Are your limits mental or physical? How do you anticipate overcoming each part?
With a desire to become physically stronger I have asked myself these questions and the answer is a part of the question. Doing the work to become stronger and convincing self that it is possible to take on more weight, more resistance, more repetitions. Getting over doubt and unhealthy fear in the mind that you may not reach the goal or expected end so why even go fit.
For me, February has been a month of not giving up on the goal, the change, the lifestyle that is sought. As I mention in a prior post the sparkle of new can fade so quickly and resistance of doing the new thing can settle in and cause old habits to return. The days are going by so fast that falling into old habits can sabotage any efforts that are being executed. Making the day count is what can help even if resistance to change appears on your doorstep.
Consider this, you wake up and skip your workout or plan for whatever change you are working toward and it just so happens that you already had a scheduled rest day on the day before. There is no way to get your planned action in during any other time of the day. You can choose to stay dormant a few more days because you are off your plan or you can defeat old habits and go for the next action.
The thoughts you have about your actions can lead you to success or failure. Dwelling on what happened on a single day or week whether it moved you toward your goal or halted it can cause you to become stuck and create a clear path to the old habits you are working to resist. The mind and actions are so closely knitted together that you have to be aware or how you are willing yourself in all that you do or desire.
I overcome getting started doing a little if I cannot do a lot. If I miss the time slot for my hour workout or other plan of action, I go for 20 minutes at another time. When I miss a day, I remind myself that I cannot get that day back, but I can redeem the time by what I do in the future. I make it all count; in the end every action will add up to some result. How will you overcome the fading of excitement, the pain of going on, the doubt that you or change isn’t worth the time and work demanded?
Heading into the third week of executing the contract I made with myself, I looked at the calendar and half the month was behind me. I had done some things to get acquainted with giving my body the daily exercise it deserved. Running was at the top of my list and the other cardio I included offered the right portion of different I needed to spark a fire in my muscles. I could feel the effects of the various squats, lunges, and balancing moves in my fibers. It was satisfying to feel stronger, but I had another feeling going on too.
As I looked at myself in the mirror, I felt a burst of excitement and I smiled as the words “I am really doing this” entered my mind. I almost got a bit goofy. Here I was opening the door that had merely been cracked opened for more than a year and the crack hadn’t been large enough for me to get through. Day after day I would watch people run up hill, downhill and around the parks all from my car window. Why not just go and run? I wanted to, I wanted to take a chance. I didn’t budge and was not planning to.
I had developed anemia from having low iron and it was extremely paralyzing to think of being out on a trail or miles away from home and not be able to catch my breath. I thought I would be out there waiting for someone to find me. I tried indoor running and exercises, but any vigorous movement for more than a few minutes would send me to the coolest part of the house to catch my breath. Defeated, I took my pills and waited for a change in the numbers.
Months later my iron replenished, but my habit of running was lost on some path I couldn’t find and nowhere near my doorstep. Running has been a safe place for my thoughts and a release for any doubts or stress that would land on my shoulders. The moment I let “the run” slip from my reach I also allowed that place of release to disappear.
I gained 20 lbs. during this setback and I saw a rippling effect in the making. Knowledge of this uninviting future pushed me to start the scattered exercise routine; you know the one day this week workout or maybe a brisk walk on my break kind of day. It wasn’t working and I was ready for more. Then came the month of August peaking from below July and like a concerned friend I told myself “it’s a perfect time to get your run and back”.
My body was still adjusting to the change in routine. At the start of the week I noticed one of my knees had a strange feeling in it after logging 4miles. It wasn’t there while I was running or during other exercises, but post workout I could feel the difference while walking around indoors. The jiggly feeling in my knee nearly psyched me out of doing anything at all. Then I remembered the pain and stiffness from the first week of resting too long after a long run and I wasn’t signing up to walk around with that type pain haunting my steps.
Although the discomfort in my knee was not painful, and it would come and go I couldn’t ignore it. If I was going to get stronger and healthier, I also needed to include proper before and after care of my body. I couldn’t allow one health concern be reason to put my body at risk for a real injury, so I took some care action.
I checked my gear and to be sure I had the right shoes for the distance and impact. The running shoes I was using had also become the ones I would leave at the door and throw on to go wherever. I switch them up with another pair that were tucked away in the garage and the switch up made a huge difference. I could feel the cushioning and a solid support in theses old but new shoes, and they did not weigh me down. They were not the only change up, I also decided to wear a brace to help reduce the movement of my knee and the area around it while causally going up and down the stairs in the house.
Research, learning and doing without worrying myself out of progress are what carried me through the second week of real commitment to self. I thought my takeaway this week would be the connection to the outdoor scenery or the music that helped to boost my effort, but it was the knowledge of preparation. Having the best tools for the hour is just as important as having the will to do the work for the type of improvement I want to see.