“This sucks!” That’s what I blurted out loud one very early morning while beginning a 3-mile run. It was the late 1990’s and I was living in CT. It was the dead of winter, 4 in the morning and it was freezing out. I didn’t have time to get to the gym because I had to catch an early train into Manhattan and I was going to be there into the evening on business. My workout was going to happen now or it was not going to happen at all on this day.
I’ll never forget saying “this sucks!” out loud as I started that run, and I actually almost talked myself out of it. I began at a slow pace and was muttering that this made no sense and asked why not just take one day off? Give yourself a break; start again tomorrow.
But then something good happened…
I told myself to shut up and that just for this workout I was just going to act like a robot. I didn’t care if the entire run was horrible and I didn’t care if I swore through the whole thing. No matter what, I was going to do it just as if I was programmed to do it. And if you’re waiting for me to tell you that by the middle of the run I got into a groove and started feeling good, you’ll have a long wait, because that never happened.
The magic happened when I completed the run. As I finished the 3-miles I had this amazing feeling that went beyond a physical high. I felt empowered, in charge of my thoughts and actions. I will never forget that experience. And, I knew at that moment what it took to be successful with regard to fitness and nutrition. The way to be successful at this game is to just do what you have to do no matter how horrid it feels. I don’t view that as punishing yourself. I view it as doing what you know is in your best interest. Yes, like a robot sometimes. Like a programmed, computerized robot.
It doesn’t sound very enticing. But when you can do that for a period of time in the most difficult of moments when your inner five-year old brat self appears, that’s when you emerge victorious.
With the onset of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and so many people spiraling out of control, I wanted to share with you this one very inelegant method that helped me on one particular morning. Of course I recommend performing workouts that you enjoy, keeping a realistic workout schedule and eating foods you like which are healthy. And, please understand that I do encourage using common sense and taking a day off when you really need it. But in the end, when it gets really hard, you have to do the right thing. If you don’t, one bad day will lead to another and by the end of 2014, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this and you’ll regret it.
No regrets this year. None.