This morning I knew what I had to do. The recent string of shitty events and my shitty mindset were still lingering, so I knew, that no matter what, today I was going to get a run in. I wasn't looking to solve all of my problems at once, that isn't realistic. What I needed was a spark, a small “W”. I needed a healthy outlet to get some energy out, provide myself with a chance to reflect, and most importantly, some adversity that I knew I could conquer.
I'm still dealing with frequent shin pain, and my hips have started to flare up again, so I had taken a break from running, but I had finally had enough. I wanted to run, so today I was going to even if it was uncomfortable.
Probably about ½ mile in it started. I knew it was coming though, so I was prepared. The mental adversity...
“My legs feel really heavy this morning, maybe I should stop and try again after lunch”
“The air quality today isn't great, maybe I should put this off until it gets better”
“Did I eat enough breakfast? Maybe I should skip this morning and make sure to eat more tomorrow before I go”
Nope, not today. I knew that was me trying to negotiate with my weaker self, the person I am moving on from. I knew that my body was just fine and that this was a mental block I needed to push through. So I did, and I kept moving.
About another ½ mile later, another mental hurdle...
“Man my legs are heavy and this part of the run is uphill. The path branches off here to go home, maybe I just take that and get a short run in today, better than nothing”
Nope, not today.
That pattern repeated itself pretty much my entire run, and each time it came up, I shut it down right away. Leaving any bit of room for that mental weakness to creep in was going to cause me to fail, so I had to close that door as soon as it started to open.
The end result was a 2.5 mile run which is my current standard as I work towards a full 5k (~3 miles).
The physical aspect was of course one of the benefits, but the mental aspect was what I was really after. It was one big mental test that just so happened to be a physical activity. It gave me a chance to get a few of those wins and to build some momentum, a chance to re-solidify that I can do this. A reminder that adversity isn't something to hide from or to avoid. I am building the mental strength to take adversity head-on, evaluate it, and then deal with it in a healthy way, my body just happens to be along for the ride :)