Tag Archives: encouragement

Matter Over Mind

9 Aug

That whole “I’m my own worst enemy” thing is such an a-hole. I find myself encountering it in my head before many of my runs.

You don’t have to run up “the hill” tonight. Just run to the bottom of it.

  • This is what my mind starts to tell myself at about 5 minutes into a run when I don’t feel like being out there. “Don’t run up the hill, just turn around and run the flatter parts again.” Although the thought sounds wonderful, I fight against it. I focus on the positive things – the longer blades of grass that often tickle my ankles as I run by them, the pretty sky I’m enjoying, my rockin’ tunes, my time for me. Before I notice it, I run the hill.

Maybe you aren’t a runner.

  • This is usually said to me after I talk about how I often whine about running. Some days, it is just so difficult to get out the door and start my run for whatever reason. I’m tired. Hungry. It’s raining hard. My leg hurts. I don’t want to run intervals. I try to talk myself out of it. I tell myself that I can just do it another day. I know I likely won’t want to do it then either though. When I finally get on my way, I think about the notion that maybe I am not a runner. It’s actually really motivating and helps keep me running.

Maybe you should try something else.

  • This is said to me after I vent about not losing any weight. They suggest that I need to do more than run four times a week. Maybe my body just isn’t responding to the running like it would something else. The funny thing  is though – I do actually enjoy my running. I do feel stronger and leaner. Something is working. I may need to add in a few old fashioned Phys. Ed. calisthenics to help build my core better but I don’t want to give up on running. (Even when I feel like I want to give up on running. It’s a twisted emotion.)

If you don’t feel like running, don’t run.

  • Said to me to ease my pout and support me in my anti-run feelings that intensify right before I’m about to head outside. The most recent one innocently came from Nia. She wasn’t trying to be unsupportive or discouraging, she was trying to help me feel better. It’s just, that is the time I need to be stronger than the temptation to not go. Andrew gets my evil eye as he tells me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear. “Just go. You’ll be fine once you’re out there. It’s only x-amount of minutes. You got it.”

No matter what I’m feeling or hearing before my runs, he’s right. I am fine once I’m out there. In fact, I feel good. Not only because I ran and the sense of health and accomplishment, but also because I overcame my mind. Told it to shut it, I’m doing this. Matter over mind really makes me feel like I’ve defeated that enemy.

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Me vs. Dancing

1 Mar

I am not much of a dancer. I love to dance, but it doesn’t love me very much. I took dancing lessons when I was a child, but I had happy blinders on back then and only felt the joy of it, not the embarrassment. I dance in the kitchen when I’m cooking. I dance in front of the kids who only laugh when I really exaggerate my skills. (Their laughs make me happy so I actually exaggerate a lot around them. Plus, I don’t want them to ever be afraid to break it down like their mom.) I can’t even dance with my husband. (One of the reasons I was so happy my wedding dress covered my feet.) I’ve tried to dance in a dance-exercise class, but the other adult students, the instructors and the mirrors all made me feel self-conscious. It was all on me though. No one was being mean to me to make me feel that way. I was not being kind to myself and I never really felt encouraged. Then, my friend, Leigh, invited me to go to a Zumba class with her at a local church. I had attended another Zumba class once before because everyone talked about how fun it was. I ended up feeling like I always do. Well, that was a downer.

I remember the way I felt before meeting Leigh for the class. I didn’t want to go. I told myself, go to see Leigh and burn some calories. It was going to help my health. I’m so glad I convinced myself.

This Zumba class is special because of its instructor. Her name is Debbie and she has a refreshing spirit and uplifting smile. When I’m there, my mind doesn’t tell me I’m not good at it. Sure, it helps that there aren’t any mirrors, but I believe it comes down to Debbie’s personality and the friendly faces I see there each time I go. Leigh is a huge fan of Debbie’s and told me I should write a post about her for the Barrow Patch because her story may inspire others. Interviewing her made me feel like a journalist again. It was wonderful. I did get nervous before writing the post because I’m so used to writing all about me, me, me, but once I sat down to do it, I felt great.

Dancing did that. Maybe it likes me more than I thought it did. And even if it doesn’t, I don’t care. It’s impossible for me to hip shake or do the Running Man move without smiling.

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