Psychology & Musings, Psychology & Wellbeing

Mind Over Matter

I woke at 7am. My husband was just leaving. He took our car today. My first day in the country that can’t live without automobiles – without an automobile.

This morning it would have been too easy to sit on the couch, watch TV and eat rubbish for breakfast. I was alone in the flat, so I knew I only had myself to answer too. Often when I’m alone I have a battle to feel positive. Something comes over me, and I start to question who I am and what I’m doing with my life. But, if I keep moving, doing, living, that question peters out. So I fight the voice in my head, put on my running gear and leave the flat. Every step I take I know I could turn back, but I don’t. I want results, and I need the adrenaline rush.

It’s Hard!!

Every muscle in my body is screaming at me to stop. I look at the clock; 45 seconds to go. At that point, I have no idea how I’ll get through those next painful steps. I shut my eyes, willing each millisecond to move forward so that I can once again run at a manageable pace. I can feel the beads of sweat dripping down my face. I know I’m working hard because I never get the beads. I try to remember my breathing – deep breath in through the nose, and then out through the mouth – it works temporarily and then I’m gasping for breath again. Suddenly I’m breathing three breaths to every one I was before.

The two minutes end, and I can feel my heart rate slowing. I’m back on an even keel. Two intervals down three to go. It’s almost hump interval; then I’m over half way. I keep thinking about the people that inspire me to be fit and healthy, my competitive streak kicks in, and I know I can finish the stint. It’s only 20 minutes out of my whole day I tell myself.

Me post exerciseI finish. 20 minutes of hardcore cardio. It’s not much, I know, but it challenged me and that’s what matters.

This is me post workout. It aint pretty but we have to do the work to get the results.

Plus, I have a tasty, banana, natural yogurt, honey and blueberry smoothie to look forward to post workout. Every little motivational tactic helps!

smoothie ingredients Smoothie

Training Takes Commitment

I used to train when I was a child; from being six years old my dad would take me swimming and push me hard to exceed what seemed possible. At eight years old I swam a mile. I was only meant to swim half a mile, but I was cheered on to do the whole thing. Throughout my early teens, I ran and swam, pushed by my personal trainer – my father.

Then, late teens came. I wanted to be out doing other things. So fitness took a backseat.

What Changed?

For years I’ve been telling myself I’m still fit and healthy; I did all that work, back then, I’m still (fairly) slim and I always take the stairs. I don’t need to go to the gym…

Then my 30’s hit. The two chocolate bars I used to eat a day suddenly seem to have taken up camp on my thighs, and my bum now wobbles a little bit more than I’d like. I like chocolate; I want to keep eating it. But, I want to look and feel my best too. Now I need to exercise.

I’ve dipped in and out of fitness for years; mostly half-heartedly. I wonder if this is another half-baked effort; I’m not sure yet, but so far it feels good and after each day I’m more motivated.

What’s The Programme?

I’m currently following this 5-week workout schedule. I’ve just done day two of week two.

The weight sessions are hard but doable – it could be I’m not lifting heavy enough – but the cardio is where I test my fitness. It hurts, and with every step I want to stop. But, I push and push. I want to look and feel good, and I’ve learnt this takes work and commitment.

How Do I Keep Going?

Being alone much of the time it’s tough to talk myself out of doing nothing. But my motivation comes from remembering all of the people in my life who are fit, healthy and inspire me to push myself with fitness. My dad, my husband who was pounding it out on the squash court this morning while I trained, and my best friend who’s just started a fitness business – Cambridge Barre Workout. Her passion, commitment and positive attitude to fitness makes me want to train along with her, despite being across the pond.

So, yes it’s hard, and yes when I’m mid 2-minute stint of intense running and I can barely get my breath I want to stop, but, my inspirations, along with my competitive nature to beat anything in my tracks, makes me pound every next step on that cross trainer.

How about you? What makes you push yourself when you want to give up?

Let me know what you think!

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