I am feeling pretty pleased with myself since I have stayed on my training schedule for an entire 10 days! This is something of a miracle given how crazy things are at work and home, but I've forced myself out of bed, I have dragged myself off the couch in the evening, and somehow I've managed to fit it all in. Of course these are famous last words... and I am betting that my swim and row may not happen tomorrow. For now I shall pat myself on the back and be pleased that I just got off the bike after doing a disastrous hill run this morning.
My hill run is actually why I'm writing this post. Yes, it was a disaster in that I could not have predicted how slow I would be on the hill repeats, and yes, I am sort of embarrassed by that, but I did indeed do the run, and then came home to a crazy, mad house as Raf and Rich were up by the time I walked in the door.
What was most troubling about the run, though, was not my times (yes, they did kind of suck), but the running commentary that I have in my head as I run. It's not kind commentary, such as 'Al, you can do this, you are a super star, you are going to crush this hill', it's closer to 'OhmyGod I am dying and I want to stop, I'm going to stop, I can't carry on, I want to die, why am I out here, I suck, I wanttostopIwanttostopIwanttostop....' I have to admit that it's not effective, and this morning I actually tried to compel an image of myself floating up the hill, but I have to say that that was a complete failure, too. The loudness of 'I cannot do this, I want to stop' was so overwhelming that a cacophony of positive voices does very little to help.
My tendency is to set the bar very low for myself. I do think that this is sometimes a good idea, yet I do have less-conscious and amorphous desires to do better, to be much better. I don't just do it when I do sports, i do it in many areas of my life. I think it can be quite paralyzing, though, because I run away from 'tests'. So I avoid races, I don't work on my book manuscript, I don't put myself in risky situations too much. I really want to change this about myself, but I don't think it's going to happen anytime soon with that commentary.
I do wish that my thoughts about myself were a little more kind and forgiving, and that I could take risks without worrying about failing or making a fool of myself. I don't really fear what others think, but I do worry about giving my sub-consciousness even more fodder.