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I am disappoint

September 15, 2011

I’m disappointed with myself for three reasons. They’re all the direct result of each other, so I guess it’s really just one. And that reason is I quit before the end of my workout for the first time in 6 weeks.

At the end of the day (or rather the beginning), I did more of a workout today than I’ve usually done for most of my sedentary life, so I can’t complain too much. Plus, there’s always next time.

This all started when I decided to foolishly take the advice of someone who doesn’t exercise at all. Running in my neighborhood instead of driving all the way into town to the stadium made perfect sense to them. I’d been ignoring this suggestion for a couple of weeks because my run times kept increasing, and I wanted to be in familiar surroundings while taking on a new challenge. But since my sets were back to smaller times today, I thought I’d give it a try. The morning went downhill from there.

During my warmup I was reflecting on how I had to talk myself into doing my workout today. It was like my time off last week had re-awoken the resistance I’d dealt with in the first couple of weeks. Giving any of my attention to this during the workout may have been a contributing factor in its disappointing result.

During my first set I noticed that my legs felt different. Because I wasn’t on a flat surface, my muscles were working differently to both keep my balance and account for the incline/decline of the road … not to mention the potholes.

Besides my muscles working differently, running uphill for 5 minutes at the start of the session was a whole new pain in the ass. I’d like to say that if I had started in the neighborhood this wouldn’t have been a problem, but a more likely story would be if I had started in the neighborhood, I wouldn’t still be running. Tracks are designed for you to run on for a reason, and I will be taking advantage of that, at least until this 9 weeks is over. But I digress.

So what happens when you get to the top of the hill? You have to come back down, and that brought me one step closer to the end.

There was no way to find, much less keep, a steady pace while running down hill during the entire first half of my second set. Sure I wasn’t getting as tired because my body wasn’t working as hard. Normally my legs act as shock absorbers, but they act as piston too, driving my body forward into the next step. This morning they were just shock absorbers, trying to slow the momentum my body gained while traveling downhill.

So after four minutes plus of clumsily moving downhill without finding a rhythm, I began a fairly significant incline. If the road would have been flat after the decline I could have at least found a rhythm and finished the set (and maybe the workout). As it happened though, I stopped running midway up the incline. I did have the intention of starting again once I’d recovered, but by the time I got to the top, I was too far past giving a fuck.

I thought about just getting in the truck and driving to the stadium, but I’d already missed my window. It was still dark out, but my later-than-usual arrival last session showed me just how much difference an hour makes. If I get to the track at 4:30 a.m or later, I’m sharing it with at least 30 other people. They filter in slow at the beginning, but that’s way more hassle than my normal early morning companions. There’s one woman who always stays on the track, so she’s never in my way, and there’s one other man who uses the concourse, but we keep a similar pace so we rarely ever pass each other.

And there are a hundred more “I had planned to…” excuses that I’ve shot down because I’m being stubborn. Mainly I’m disappointed for not listening to myself, which has caused me to waste a day.

At this point, it’s not about being able to check off another day closer to the end. I plan on continuing after this is over, so “being done with the program” isn’t something I’m concerned with. At this point, wasting a day means not getting to finish, not getting to feel my muscles go through their full range of motion and not getting to that centered place that leaves you feeling good for the rest of the day.

Even though it’s not about the days in the program, I’m still going to repeat this session next time, but at the track. I can figure out how to run hills another time. While I’m in this program, I need everything to be as similar and routine as I can make it.

So the lessons from today would be:

  1. Listen to yourself, you’re a better counsel than most people.
  2. Don’t ever take the advice of someone who’s never done what you’re doing. Even if they’ve done it but weren’t successful, it’s probably shady advice.
  3. Get your mind right, and keep it there. There’s plenty of time to deconstruct what you’ve observed after the fact. In the moment, you need to be in the moment.
  4. And finally, as always, Just Keep Going. If you’ve done all the others, then this one becomes easier to do.
One Comment
  1. David Morrison permalink
    September 19, 2011 4:19 pm

    “Don’t ever take the advice of someone who’s never done what you’re doing.”

    That’s good stuff. I particularly like it when someone who’s never experienced clinical depression tells a depressed person what to do. “Get some exercise, buy some colorful clothes, get out of the house and see people, do some volunteering…” If you could do all that stuff you wouldn’t be depressed. Oh, and someone who’s not gay, telling someone that Jesus can make them ungay, also rich. Marriagae advice from priests, that’s a good one… well, I could go on. People are clueless.

    But to the matter at hand, you go, dude. I really respect what you’re doing. And you should not listen to anything I have to say about exercise.

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