Unleashing My Inner Awesome

My "journey" through health, fitness and life in general

Archive for the tag “breakthrough”

Conquering the mountain

Today I ran up a mountain in my home town. And back down again.

There’s a running/mountain biking trail a group of us have done quite a few times. It’s a 5k run down the side of a mountain, and then back up. There’s a fairly steep bit right at the top that you almost have to crawl up. I definitely haven’t mastered it yet, but it is getting easier.

Which is why when one of the girls suggested I do the road run before hand, I said yes. Hey, it seemed like a good idea. And then I started thinking about it properly. See, the road run adds another 3.75km each way to the circuit. So 7.5km more than I was already going to do. They start at a carpark at the bottom of the mountain, run to the start of the track and then run back down after the track.

Once I’d said yes I started crunching the numbers. A total of 12.8km. Half uphill. And Heartbreak Hill, instead of being at the end of the 5th kilometre, would be at the end of the 9th!

So this morning, while I was driving to the meeting point, I was composing the reasons why I couldn’t do this, and how I was going to explain to the others why I was pulling out. I couldn’t do it. I was kidding myself. I’m not that fit/athletic/strong yet. I’ll get there, just not right now.

But when I got there the others were so enthusiastic and encouraging that I felt I would be letting them down if I didn’t do it! So I just did. And it nearly killed me. My feet and legs were jelly at the end, my stomach was about to expel my breakfast, and my head was spinning. I was dripping with sweat and had totally run out of dry places on my shirt to wipe my face.

But I did it! There will never again be a first time. As I get fitter and stronger it will get easier (and yes, I will do it again!) I am not where I want to be yet, but I am a hell of a lot further along than I was. I will always be a “work in progress”, that’s inevitable. Once you stop improving you stop living. So there isn’t an end point to this journey, merely a whole lot of rest stops along the way.

A mental breakthrough

I’m fat, that much is established. In the past I thought “fat” was an offensive word. I thought that describing people as overweight, big, large, and the word du jour for online dating websites: cuddly, was a far less rude way to describe someone.

I have believed for a while now that fat is the more accurate way of saying it, but have been having trouble rationalising that with the part of me that says it’s rude and offensive. I hate sugar coating. I hate that society has become so politically correct that fat is no longer acceptable as a description, but I don’t know how to lose that mindset.

Today I was listening to an older podcast from Bevan James Eyles, who is an Ironman triathlete and professional fitness instructor. He’s also a really cool motivational speaker, if you ever get the chance to listen to him. Anyway, the podcast I was listening to today was all about disconnecting the emotions from your fitness decisions. And about how saying you’re fat isn’t an insult if it’s true, and that it doesn’t mean you are a bad person, just that you have made some unhealthy decisions in your life to this point.

Lightbulb moment! That’s me! I’m fat. I’ve made some bad decisions in the past. I’ll probably make some bad decisions in the future, but I won’t let them turn my mind around and ruin all the good work I’ve done on my body to date. I am here for the long haul now, and one bad decision is just that, a single bad decision in isolation.

It’s just what Michelle Bridges has been saying in the 12 Week Body Transformation program I’ve been doing (and have just signed up to do again in February!). Take the emotion out of it. View what you do from an external perspective, and when you screw up as you inevitably will (because nobody except John Eales is perfect!) you need to review what you’ve done as if it were somebody else, and jump straight back on that wagon. It’s not easy, but it’s simple.

It’s taken me 42 years to work out what I’ve been doing wrong, and now that I have, I don’t intend to forget it!

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