The Enemy Within

I normally wouldn’t intentionally torture myself.
(No jokes about running in sandals…)
But Tuesday morning my daughter and I watched an episode of Jillian Michaels’ new show “Losing it” on the web. We’re big fans of “Biggest Loser” – mostly because of the transformations people undergo as they reclaim their lives – and wanted to see her on her own.
During the show, she said something to a man that got me thinking. He was obese and struggling to do most of what she asked of him. He fell on the treadmill and said his leg gave out.
She said, “It’s not your leg, it’s your mind. Your body will do what your mind tells it to do.”
This is a concept many runners are intimately familiar with. Pushing yourself is hard work. It’s as hard as actually running those hills or doing a speed workout. Running with a group or a friend can help push you out of that comfort zone, but really challenging oneself takes commitment.
So I decided to run in the afternoon – which meant 95-degree heat – and something I didn’t anticipate – ferocious wind.
I ran to the gym and felt pretty good. I managed to do three sets of circuit weights and I did NOT want to run home.
I told my legs to move, and while I felt like I was dressed in a wool scarf with a heater blowing in my face, I managed to drag my tired legs home. The last 300 meters felt like a mile.
Then this morning, I ran from Alta Ski Resort to the Albion Basin Campground with the Hillcrest Cross Country team. Two and a half miles up hill and then the reverse downhill.
The entire time I told myself it was more about my mind than it was the burning in my chest or the weight in my legs.
I managed to do 5 miles in 55 minutes, which for me, on hills like that, was amazing!
Both situations made me realize that I too often forget my mind isn’t always on my side. Sometimes, it sabotages me.
Any tricks you use for keeping your mental game sharp? And also, how do you push yourself when no one is watching?

Leave a comment encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.