One thing I like about my new personal trainer (besides that she told me that I’m fun to work with and she’s been looking forward to our session all week — what is wrong with her?!?!) is that she’s helping me get mentally stronger to prepare me for the marathon distance. She knows that I’m going to need it.
I struggle with mental toughness. I suppose most people do. I’ve found it worst when I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself. In races when I’ve had a solid time goal, I find myself mentally doubting myself and what gas I have left in the tank when I reach those final stretches. And I panic a little, which does nothing to help my performance.
Conversely, when I tell myself to just run and have fun, I exceed my expectations. Basically, I’m my own worst enemy.
Today was a Tabata focused workout. She started me with more @$;:&@!?9):!#*%!!! burpees with a high knee hop added in, 8 sets of 20 seconds with 10 seconds rest between. 20 seconds have never seemed so long. Some older gentleman decided that watching me do this set was a spectator sport, and stood right in front of me with a goofy grin on his face. Good thing I’m not very self-conscious. It was a little freaky though.
We did ab work, tricep work, shoulder work, jump lunges (oy! Those were tough by the last rep) and squat jumping jacks. I also was still trumped by the damned jump rope. Why didn’t I do more jumping rope as a young girl?
We did a lot of stuff that was hard after the first few reps, making me feel alternately like I was going to puke or on the verge of crying. At one point I wanted to ask her if her clients ever burst into tears mid-workout. I know this makes this session seem awful, but it wasn’t.
A lot of people bandy the phrase “pain is temporary” around in the fitness world, but I really think what we’re talking about is discomfort. Pain is bad, discomfort — even extreme discomfort — is what I should be pushing through. Knowing the line? Tricky.
I’m learning to embrace Eleanor Roosevelt’s mantra of doing things that scare you. Funnily, my mantra of “I can, I will, I am” is about the last thing in my head when trying to push through workouts. I need to work on that. Although the one that does pop into my head is “you’ve got this,” which isn’t a bad substitute.
Right now, my training is focusing on getting through when tired. I’m teaching my mind and body to persevere. I’ve been through plenty of tough stuff, getting sober and separating from my toxic mother rank pretty high, so this ought to be cake, right? 😉