Monday, July 21, 2008

Reserving the Right to Change My Mind...if I can

This process is about progress - progress in lowering my body fat composition, progress in becoming stronger in the weight room, progress at becoming a leaner and faster runner, and progress at bringing my diet into a place of balance between optimum nutrition and real-life application. And for the most part, I am making progress.

But, I spent the weekend feeling like a miserable failure. There was no reason to; I had just come back from a work trip where I had great workouts (thank you Marriott for always having decent gyms) and good nutrition considering the usual hotel fare (another plug for bringing your own food). This was the perfect example of forecasting a challenge, making a plan, and executing flawlessly. Well, almost flawlessly. It felt great!

But I still felt like a mess. I knew what was bothering me, but I didn't have a way to deal with it yet.

So this morning I couldn't wait to get to the gym and sweat it out. At the last minute, I decided to run my old route: a 2-mile loop that includes a pretty major hill, downhill on the way out and uphill all the way back. When I started running this route about a year ago, that hill killed me. I would have to stop and walk part of it, huffing and puffing and limping along. So I told myself as I started running that I could walk it if I wanted to. After all, it is July in Florida, and the humidity has me wanting to throw myself in front of a moving car and end it all.

I'm proud to say that I coasted the whole time. The run back up that hill was no sweat, and I caught myself wondering when it was going to get hard. Before I knew it, I was at the end and it had been no big deal. I realized the progress I have made over the past year and patted myself on the back. One point for me.

But my nagging sense of failure still tugged at my attention. As I ran my intervals around the gym parking lot and waited for my trainer to arrive, I came to the sobering realization that reaching my MGP is not just about overcoming my physical genetics to transform my body into something it didn't plan to be. I need to overcome my mental genetics, too.

I can run all of the intervals, improve my running stride, train my muscles and lift heavier weights, eat the right food, and do everything according to the plan. But if I don't have my head in the game, I am just running in place.

I can see success happening in my future and I know how to get there. I just need to get out of my own damn way. Sometimes I think that challenge is steeper than any hill.

1 comment:

EDP said...

The mind-body connection is incredibly strong, isn't it? Do you feel like you have a better handle on the things that are nagging you?