Typically I’m pretty excited about working out, it hasn’t always been that way, but when you start seeing small changes in your body it tends to motivate you..well, at least it does me.
So, today was not one of those days. It was time to work on abs, I was laying down on the mat and thinking.. MAN, I’m just not feeling it today. I was sluggish and feeling out of it. But there was no reason for me to be feeling this way, I had had plenty enough to eat, not to much, not too little, I had waited my typical 35-40 minutes after eating and I should’ve been ready to go.
But I wasn’t.
My ab workout was 4 rounds of the following:
25 Reverse crunches
25 Decline sit-ups
Plank for 1 minute
Followed by 4 rounds of the following:
25 Reverse crunches
25 Decline crunches
So, I start any way.. and by the middle of round 2 I’m already thinking of excuses of why I could/should stop. The mental war has started and I can barely concentrate on counting my reps for all the back and forth in my mind about stopping or continuing on. My stomach did feel like I had some sort of funky virus or something, but I knew I could keep going, it was a bit painful and crampy but I also knew that I could work through it… if I wanted to.
At the end of round 3 I’m laying on the mat looking up at the ceiling and I’m starting to verbalize what I’m feeling.. ” I am just not feeling it today..” “I feel so out if it..” “I’m just not up to it..”
I sat up and caught my reflection in the mirror and something spoke through my own mouth and said, “You’re not quitting, so don’t even think about it, I don’t care if it takes you 3 hours, you’re finishing, so let’s go.”
And that was it. I laid back down and started round 4.
About the end of round 5 the energy kicked in and I was moving like someone lit my pants on fire and I finished all 8 rounds and then did 3 rounds of HIIT for my cardio.
So what happened? How did I keep going when everything in me wanted to quit?
I eliminated the option of quitting.
It’s amazing the things you can accomplish in life when you don’t give yourself the option to quit.
Lets think about that for a minute, what are two goals you would’ve achieved, just this last year had you not quit?
I can tell you two for me:
1. Learn Spanish
2. Finish the first draft of a script
On the flip side…
At the beginning of this year I decided that I was finally going to learn how to knit. I had wanted to for years but never “had the time.” So, I find the time (miracle, right?) and I go to my first class (very excited), and right off the bat, found it to be pretty difficult. I had crocheted for many years and didn’t think knitting would be that much different, just using two needles instead of one hook, right? Boy, was I wrong. The class was kinda noisy, I was having a tough time concentrating, my pinky finger on my left hand is still messed up from all the demo work we’ve done on our house and I had to learn to knit right handed and, well, I’m a lefty (you think writing with the opposite hand is tough, try knitting!). I had all kinds of excuses for why I wasn’t doing as well as I thought I would. I was frustrated. But I made myself practice for 15 minutes a day anyways. It still was not clicking. My instructor said I was doing great but it was very difficult and not enjoyable. And then in the third class, sensing my frustration, she asked me point blank if I wanted to quit and try crocheting again.
I kept my eyes on my needles afraid I may take her up on it..
“No… I’m not quitting, I said “I may switch back to crocheting after the 10 week course but I’m going to finish the knitting class.”
I’m sure you probably know where this is going…
Now? Well, I love knitting, not just like it or think its fun, I love it and look for a few minutes here and there during the day when I can sneak away to knit a little. I know it’s the artist in me, I love creating something out of nothing, but it’s relaxing, calming and enjoyable now (even if everybody thinks I’ve fallen off my rocker for even trying it). And to think for a tiny moment I thought about abandoning it just because it was tough.
Makes me think about other things in my life that I’ve quit over the years.
I’m no ‘perseverance hero,’ I’ve listed two things above that I started and quit last year, but I want to be someone who sees something to the end and doesn’t quit just because things get rough. That’s who I aspire to be.
So let’s get back to the mat. You’re laying there and soooo not wanting to even get started on your workout. Let me ask you this. Do you always feel like loving your spouse? Do you always feel like going to work? If you said yes to both of those, come here so I can smack you, cause you know you’re lying. :-)
No, we don’t always feel like doing a lot of things, but like they say in marriage courses.. (yeah, I’ve had to take a few over the years)
“do it any ways, your feelings will follow your actions.”
If you want the benefit of a good marriage, you’re going to have to do the work. If you want the benefit of a paycheck, you’re going to have to show up and do the work. If you want a nice healthy, toned or muscular body you’re going to have to do the workout.
Eliminate the option to quit, take it off the table, it’s not negotiable, set a goal, start and then finish.
And when its over your sense of satisfaction and pride for having completed something that was difficult will be so huge, I just might see it from here. :-)
Here’s a cable scarf that I knit recently, makes me wish for cooler weather NOW just so I can wear it.