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Sometimes my biggest obstacle is myself

Every year I decide to do my City2Surf training and frequently, after an enthusiastic start, something happens that triggers me to miss a week or more of training. This results in suffering the loss of most of the fitness I’d just begun to gain.

This phenomenon isn’t unique to me. So, what can be done about it?

making excuses

Here I am walking along with my cold in -1C making excuses

There are a lot of theories about why we sabotage our progress like this, but the one that seems to ring true for me is that we get to a point where, subconsciously, we feel we have achieved just enough success.

For example; imagine that you go to the gym for four days a week and do a workout. After a month or two, you start to feel pretty good. You have more energy, you’ve lost a little weight and you’ve toned up a little.

A little voice in your head says, ‘I’m feeling pretty fit, I can afford to miss a day training today’ or ‘I’ll have some pudding after dinner’ and the next thing you know you are on a downward spiral that leads us back to the point we started from.

When you explain to your friends why you haven’t been to the gym in a week or two, what they hear is you just making excuses. Although all this justification may make sense to you, to them it sounds like a big whinge.

To illustrate the point, here is my logical and factual explanation as to why I haven’t done any exercise for over two weeks:

‘It started two weeks ago when we went to Wagga Wagga for a weekend and stayed with uni students in my stepson’s share house. I had my running gear with me but when Sunday morning came, I thought to myself; I can miss my Sunday run today, it’s only one day… (Damn! I fell for it again.)

I should have gone for a run on Monday too, but I had to leave Wagga early to get to an all-day meeting in Young. Tuesday was raining and the path I run on was boggy on Wednesday. Thursday we went to New Zealand and it bucketed down. There were days of feasting and when I returned home it was raining here too. Then I got a head and chest cold and my dog was on holiday so I didn’t even have to walk him… and that brings me to today.’

The Reality:

Although factual and plausible, it is just one excuse after another.

Had I been fully committed to the training, I would have found a way, no matter what! After all, I did take my running gear with me to Wagga and I took it to New Zealand as well.

Many times I’ve run in sub zero temperatures, in snow, sleet, rain and in the dark. So I could have done my run or I could have done an alternative activity.

My mistake was that I lost my focus. I lost my reason to train.

In the two weeks that I skipped doing my exercise, I also ate far too much so now I feel as though I’ve lost at least four or five weeks conditioning.

The positive to all of this is that now I need to pull myself together and start training all over again and this time I’ve really only got about four weeks to get into condition and with a shorter time frame, it should be easier to maintain my focus.

My next post will be about setting yourself up for success and training with only four or five weeks to do it in.