Have you ever taken on a task or something you knew was challenging, and when faced with difficulty decided to stop, because it was just too hard? Well, most times I press through, and the few occasions when I did not, was angry that I did not try harder. To give some context, I’m doing a fitness program with http://www.dextersimon.com to become a healthier version of myself and this is seven weeks in. Now, there are challenges along the way and this challenge was a weekend of activities to get completed. Somehow, was not paying attention and did my regular morning routine and had to add the day’s challenges to that – no big deal – uh yes it was! Finishing the morning challenges – I was beat, exhausted and tired, but got ready for the afternoon. As I got on my bike, set the timer. With the first 25 minutes completed, felt like I could not move, so here is how the conversation with myself started.
Me 1, “You can’t do it, you have to stop. Your legs are tired, your butt is tired, your back is tired, you did great it’s okay to stop.”
Me 2, “Listen, you can do this, you have been preparing for this day from day 1. You got this. Yes it hurts, but just try to focus on getting through the next 5 mins. Breathe, don’t focus on the pain, you are ready to do more, you are prepared for this.”
A few minutes pass, and a nauseous, feeling is brewing. I’m looking at the television, but not seeing the images, just feeling my body wanting to give up. As I glance at the clock, its 45 minutes to go.
Me 1, “You have nothing to prove, you are not as fit as you think, these things take time. It won’t matter if you stop now. You made the effort, and that’s what matters. You showed up. You should feel proud attempting this. You’ve pushed for the whole day. Don’t do this to yourself. It should not matter, no one is looking, you have nothing to prove.”
Me 2, “You don’t give up when you get to a speed bump, a hurdle. Yes it matters, and you are looking at you! This is not as bad as it feels. You can do this, reduce or speed up, just keep a consistent flow. Breathe. Count. Keep focused. Pedal, its sixty seconds in a minute lets count, you got this.”
The alert says, “another 10 minutes completed, 25 more to go…” my legs are moving because my mind says they cannot stop. I’m thinking about David Goggins, yes, the seal that epitomizes pushing through. He says, “I don’t stop when I’m tired, I stop when I’m done.” As my thoughts recall parts of his story, the time passes and I’m pushing through. I want to stop but know the end will come when the challenge is finished. Dexter says its ‘Me versus Me’, and this is where I am right now.
Me 1, “You have done great, its okay to give in now, stop and send a message, let them know you tried, and maybe next time you will finish. You have no more to give, you are not an athlete, you have injuries that are taking forever to heal. You are lucky you can do this. You can feel proud and stop.”
My eyes are filled with water, as it’s a fight to keep the tears back. The vomits wants to come up, and I look at the clock, 8 minutes to go. I’m feeling pissed off that I might need to stop, but if I can just push through.. focus, keep focused ahead, do not be distracted.
Me 2, “If you stop it’s an excuse. You have prepared to do this and more. You are made in the image and likeness of your Creator, and you Can do this… breathe. Do not focus on weaknesses, your strengths are sufficient. Breathe, Breathe, and count to 720.. that’s how many seconds you have to go. It’s within reach.”
It feels like an eternity of me alone on this journey, but I’m not alone, my family, friends, trainer and other people in my group are on this journey with me.
As I pedal, the alert announces, its finished, and my legs are still moving. 972 Calories, 1hr 15 mins.
That last 45 minutes was hard. Having this conversation with myself, emphasized the importance of mental preparedness, experiences and stories to help us through difficult times. What do you draw on in tough times, during challenges? Feed your mind daily, so you have something to draw on when you need it. There are many stories I’ve had to tell myself throughout the years but watching this guy on YouTube was recommended in this program. Here is a quote to action – “Mental toughness is a lifestyle”- David Goggins.
I needed to improve my physical health and getting a lot more than expected… 5 more weeks to go!
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Keep up the good work, Donna-Luisa!