Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"Failure is not an option" or "How I found Inspiration in the Darndest Place"

A few months ago, I wrote a post about doing what you dread. In it, I described my dislike for pretty much anything physical and how I overcame that one night by running on a treadmill next to a man in the Navy.

Well...guess what? I'm back there. Not back in that hotel, but back on the fitness attempt. I had been doing so well for about 3 weeks. And then life happened. We got busy with two sports schedules and end of the year craziness at school and I got off track.

So, I started back at it this morning. I did the Day One of the Couch to 5K program I had started back in April. One of the things that I do like about exercise is that it helps me to think clearly. Today was no exception. With that, here were a few of my observations today:

A.) I do not enjoy exercise. I don't. I'm no fan of sweating. I don't like pushing myself to ignore the desire to just turn around when it starts to get hard. I'd personally prefer to lie in a hammock all day with a good book and a glass of peach iced tea. And I had already started and stopped several of these attempts to get healthy again, so what makes this attempt any different? These things were going through my head at about the 15 minute mark of my half hour run/walk. But that's when the teacher in me started to join the defeatist conversation going on in my head. I was falling into some of the same mental patterns my students tend to fall into. I wasn't interested in the struggle and I was seriously NOT feeling the hard work. Sadly, this kind of thinking is NOT gonna cut it. If I want to be healthy and accomplish my goals for myself physically, I'm going to have to move.

B.) I cannot believe the lie my brain was trying to tell me that I was just a failure at this fitness stuff. A failure is when you sit down and give up and allow it to beat you. I'm back at it. That's not failure. Similarly, it's a failure when my students give up. Until then, there is hope that they will get back at it! Failure is NOT an option!

C.) Inspiration can come from the most interesting of places. As I headed back towards my car on the last half of my run/walk, I started paying attention to some of the songs popping up on my iPod. I came into a particular tough stretch (a straight section of the trail with full sun...and it was time to do the RUNNING portion) and, just then, the song "Owner of a Lonely Heart" came on. (Yes...I love my cheesy 80s songs!!). I started listening intently to the lyrics and became inspired. Consider them for a moment:

Move yourself
You always lived your life
Never thinking of the future
Prove yourself
You are the move you make
Take your chances win or loser

See yourself
You are the steps you take
You and you - and that's the only way
Shake - shake yourself
You're every move you make
So the story goes

See some potential for inspiration there? Um, yeah. And what song should come on next? "I Ran" by Flock of Seagulls....and all I could think about is how important it is to know why and how you're running. For awhile, I had spent time running: running my kid to practice and games, running around getting things taken care of at work, running to get caught up with housework....and running away from doing something for myself. It's time to start running towards what makes me a healthy, well-rounded person and away from what makes me schizophrenic and unable to devote 100% of myself to anything. Now THAT'S a lesson we could ALL use! We need to prioritize the things in our lives so that what SHOULD be the most important actually IS the most important.

My iPod spit out another song as I started my cool down. "How soon is now?" by The Smiths.

How soon is now?

Now is sooner than you think. I guess it's time to start again.