October 5, 2011

Lately I’ve been experiencing a lot of success in regards to exercise, especially running.  Each week I feel faster, stronger, and more confident. 

But not last night.

Last night I laced up my shoes, drove over to one of my favorite paths, started, and then, only minutes into the workout, stopped.

It didn’t feel right, I felt ‘off.’

There were logistical and technical problems.

First, the technical problems: the night before I had a lot of heel pain that left me icing my foot and loading up on Advil.  I stepped onto the path and the fear of overstretching my limits and ending up in the same position- or worse- caused me to be afraid.  I didn’t want to hurt and I really, really didn’t want to be injured to a further degree.

Second, the logistical problems: I didn’t feel comfortable in my clothes.  My underwear was shifting, my pants weren’t fitting right, I was wearing a yoga shirt, much tighter and more revealing than a jogging shirt that I feel relatively safe wearing in a private yoga studio, but wearing around a highly populated running path made me feel exposed and vulnerable.

Not every workout is going to be epic.  Not every stride is going to be filled with victory.

What do I do when this happens?  Last night I chose to quit.  I know I need to get used to running even when I don’t feel like it, that it won’t always be sunshine and rainbows.  I also know that last night I talked myself out of the workout as soon as I realized how uncomfortable I was in my body and in my clothing. 

What should I do next time this happens?  As it almost certainly will happen again.

The best thing I can think of it to think of a mantra, a repeatable phrase that I can employ when I feel out of sorts. 

Be prepared.

Why am I running when everything tells me that I should go home?  Be prepared.  Be prepared for bad weather, for wardrobe malfunctions, for being tired, for lacking motivation, for every song on my iPod being irritating and uninspiring.  Be prepared.

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