It’s the mind that matters

My spinning instructor was so nice to us last week. “Don’t worry about it, this won’t be a big hill day,” she said. “We did that on Tuesday. Today will be easy.”

That’s exactly what I needed to hear. But man, what a liar!

Fifteen minutes later I was drenched in sweat and gasping for breath as she told us to slow down, get off the bikes and get our weights for rows, crunches and lunges. I glanced at my odometer — we’d already done nearly 8 miles and my aerobic threshold was roadkill a long ways back.

The great part is that her psychology totally worked on me. I KNEW it wouldn’t be an easy class. I don’t want to go to an easy class. But lie to me and I’m good with getting my ass kicked. After a sorta easy summer, I really need this. I gotta wear a bathing suit in February again, for God’s sake.

Like many women in (cough) middle (cough) age (argh!) I’m in a duel to the death with creeping deadly assfat, and thus far it’s a draw. I’m fighting so much more than cellulite, biology, and age — assfat also has human instinct on its side. When I try to get ready for a run my instincts kick in and distract me with a million little things I have to do that would keep me in the house until it’s too late to go. Then the first mile or two are so unpleasant that I really have to crank up the ipod to plow through the ancestral voice in my head telling me to go home, pig out on whatever is left by the fire in the cave and hibernate until the woolly mammoths come back from the grasslands.

the truth is, very few women can actually embrace their curves -- the rest of us are locked in a duel to the death

the truth is, very few women can actually embrace their curves — the rest of us are locked in a duel to the death

Working out is something like 40 percent physical and 60 percent mental. My running brain is like a squirrel on crack telling me I should stop, it’s not necessary to run without a raptor chasing me; my feet hurt, my stomach is queasy, this sand really isn’t fun to slog through, etc etc ad infinitum. I have to remember that voice is my assfat trying to get the upper hand. Psychology Today agrees for the most part, saying we’re wired to avoid discomfort, even if we know it will result in a reward (such as not being embarrassed to wear my bikini in -gulp!- two months). Runner’s World says you’ll run better if you think about your form rather than the random voices in your head reminding you of something more important you should be doing.

If it’s this difficult for me some days (and all joking aside I LOVE working out, cycling, running etc once I get going) I can’t imagine what it feels like for someone who’s uncomfortable taking the first step. So if a new outfit helps, or a hot playlist on the ipod or uploading to endomondo and comparing with friends, it’s important to find that wedge you can put between yourself and staying inside and immobile.

I’ve figured out  if I can get myself to the gym on my toughest days, it’s a different story. At the gym I can’t just stand there, I have to DO something. And showing up at a class introduces competition into the equation — I look around and think, I can’t slack off and let that guy cycle faster than me or do more burpees. There’s also a nice variety of classes to mix things up and keep me working. Just when I think I’m doing pretty good I go to a class like tonite’s Boot Camp and realize (shit!) that I can still get my butt kicked in a “simple” class (we did five things — mountain climbers, jack knives, pushups, burpees and overhead presses — for an hour!).

For a solo runner/biker/whatever, going to a class is weird but really effective for drowning out the assfat voice in my head. It gives me motivation and momentum to keep that endorphin rush going. Needless to say, I never average over 20 mph on my bike when I’m out riding alone (ha, barely went that fast in my last race) so classes really motivate me to work hard and consequently improve my performance when I am out by myself.

After all, there are only a couple women on the face of the earth who can actually embrace (and profit from) their assfat, including the butt that broke the internet a couple weeks ago and the girl who sings about her “bass.” I had to laugh when Mike said (with great surprise) “hey, is she actually singing about her BUTT?” Yeah, sweetie, and you’ve only heard the song ten times a day for months.

OK enough for now — I have to get off my BASS and go for a run!


Tags: , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: