Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's All In Your Head, Stupid

I made a big mistake the other day. I put a pair of running shorts over a pair of undergarments (I cringe at the word 'panty' and somehow 'underpants' doesn't seem worthy of a running blog) that knowingly create that awful line that sends you back to the drawing board of acceptable outfits to wear. Did I rejoice in the fact that I had already been on my way to the treadmill? Did I look at my poster of encouragement and smile at myself in the mirror? Absolutely not. I went straight for my closet and took out those tight fitting pants that I have been staring at longingly for far too long. Graduate school and my waist line never did make amends.

Needless to say after such an act of self sabotage I had lost my motivation to run, which leads me to my point. For the first 26 minutes I dragged my feet, changed songs after 20 or 30 seconds and found my breathing was quite labored. I kept going, telling myself that slow was ok and that I was exactly where I needed and was supposed to be. And then, a burst of energy came! I was picking up my feet, breathing deep and feeling strong. Yet, I don't think I experienced the runner's high. I think it was something even more elusive: the effect of positive thinking. 

It's absolutely true that the more we tell ourselves that we can't, the more we won't. Like a well worn path in the woods, our brains instruct us to take the road well-traveled. As a pessimist, this is exciting news because the more we tell ourselves that we can, the more we will. We have the power to chose which path is well-traveled. I may come from a long (paternal) line of pessimists, but it is my choice to stay as such. 

I was unable to verify the author (perhaps Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.), but I leave you with this quote:

Be careful of your thoughts, for your thought become your words.
Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions.
Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits.
Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character.
Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.

1 comment:

  1. Endorphins are freaking amazing! Sometimes they're the result of ludicrous physical exertion, and sometimes of putting your naughty neural pathways in their proper places. It's so hard to shift your perspective mid-shitfit, but if you can stave it off before it gets to that point-- replace it with something wonderful-- like the thought of growing spinach in January, then the whole day is a little less awful. Lives are just a whole lot of days, right? Fill your life with light and growth! Gratitude is a powerful thing, and I think we all have a great deal to give thanks for. Even WebMD (which tells me every time I consult it for ANY reason that I am dying) agrees that gratitude is where it's at. Check it: