“The battle is won twice – the first time in your mind”
I can’t take credit for the above quote, but it is so freaking profound and it applies to absolutely everything in my life. Literally, every time I start a workout, I have to battle my mind, multiple times, for different reasons throughout the entire process. The first group of battles occurs before the first step of the workout…
THE BATTLE OF THE FIRST STEP
- The first battle is TIME.. I know this workout is going to take 50-60 minutes… that’s an HOUR of a day…(not counting stretch time, which I cheat sometimes, and shower time after the workout) and in the life of someone ridiculously busy, that’s a long time, so I have to battle myself. It’s easy to an outside observer to say, “easy… all you have to do is look at it like a 60 minute investment in your health”… ok, I get that.. but (just being honest), in real life, that isn’t necessarily the argument that wins the battle.
- A split second behind TIME is, COLD. Since my bike trainer and bike are in my garage, and, in western PA, it’s winter (and a very cold one at that), there’s something unappealing about being cold.. but the truth is, when I wear a hoodie and leggings, I’m chilly for the first .5 mile and then I actually get hot biking, so it’s an invalid argument that my mind tries to make up.
So how do people combat these battles to get started? For me, it’s simply brute force…. just do it. Don’t think too long about it, just do it…
THE IN-PROCESS BATTLE
- The next battle is perhaps FATIGUE? It usually occurs about 20 minutes in… on about the 4th song of my playlist if I’m listening to it (sometimes when I ride the bike, I listen to podcasts instead – to kill two birds with one stone). It’s about this point that I start to think, “ok, has it been long enough…really?” The weapon I use here is to trick myself into just listening to one more song… and then about the time I get to Anitconformity, my mood changes – probably because of the pace of the song. After the song, then I’m in “I can do this” mode, and I’m usually good for the remainder of the workout, until..
- The last in-process battle occurs in the very last .25 of the workout… especially when watching the computer on the stationary bike or treadmill. I can’t explain it, but for some reason, the last quarter mile seems to be so much longer than all of the rest, it literally feels like watching a pot of water boil. Probably only my doggedness gets me through this battle.
When I’m finished, and I can chalk some miles up to my journey, I’m always glad I did it.
THE BATTLE OF PROGRESS
On a larger scale than the daily workout, if I am honest, there is a longer-term battle I fight with myself that asks, “is what you’re doing even making a difference?” It’s difficult to see daily progress, not only in physical workouts, but in other areas of life as well. Sometimes it’s necessary to stop what you’re doing, look around and see how far you’ve come.
They say (whoever “they” are) that it takes 4 weeks of working out for you to notice a difference in yourself – 8 weeks for close friends to notice and 12 weeks for the rest of world to notice… so keep at it… Rome wasn’t build in a day.
When you’re thinking about quitting, just remember this…