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Me, myself and Ironman
Me, myself and Ironman
The trials and tribulations of training for Ironman

Stop the tantrums and Just Do It.

muz89by muz89Apr 12th 2012
Stop the tantrums and Just Do It.
So I have been feeling really demotivated for the last few months and not sure why. First up was work and a lot of travel and stress to go with it, along with organising my wedding from across the globe, then organising a visa to stay in the UK on our return and now searching for a job. General life occurances that happen to everyone i know, but all have meant i have voluntarily put my training on the backburner. It's as if my training doesn't like to share the limelight and insists it must be 'number one' in my life at all times - all or nothing, no compromise! Now that I am married however, compromise seems to feature regularly in my vocabulary. Doing things i am not overly fussed on doing or once baulked at, are making regular appearances in my diary. I think it's time for my training to realise that it can't escape this compromise malarkey either. If I have to do it, then so can it. I guess its easier for me to say this at the moment, because my training has once again taken centre stage. With no wedding to plan, no job to stress and grind my teeth over and visa application safely dispatched to immigration, there isn't a lot of other things in my life which are taking my attention. Then begs the answer to the first sentence in this post - why am i still demotivated? All these parts of my life have been dealt with and completed, why then do i still sleep in till late? What makes me think I would rather sit at my laptop and drink a few glasses of wine in the sun, than take my bike for a spin or chase the black lines up and down the local pool? I realised the most active I had been was when I set off on an obsessional pilgrimmage to find ( and sample along the way) a perfectly balanced, buttery chardonnay. Which I am still on the hunt for I might add. Once I had a think about it, I wondered whether my body and mind still thought they were in the midst of a 'holiday phase'. A 'holiday phase' according to me and no doubt millions of others is: indulge in your vices, do everything you don't let yourself normally do and/or anything that has a guilty lining to it. Unfortunately it turns out, there can be too much of a good thing. I had been in this 'holiday phase' on and off it seems, since the after party of the Long Distance World Champs in Vegas. Vegas was 6 months ago. Once I had made this connection, I understood my relaxed, laid back behaviour, sleep ins, late night tv and numerous wines on the balcony.
A side effect of 'holiday phase' was how my mind was reacting with exercise. If my training was acting like a prima donna, my willpower was responding like a tantrumming toddler. Every time i set off to follow a scheduled session in my plan and something else came up i.e. the garage doors locked so we couldn't drive to the pool, I would say to myself, 'oh well, what a shame - back to bed it is!'. Wow. I felt I was beginning to form my idea of the unemployed bum, one who sits around all day in their dressing gown, watching daytime tv, eating packets of biscuits while surrounded by cats. A very generalistic and completely untrue description I know, but this was the picture forming in my mind at that time and quite frankly would be my version of hell. Suddenly however, something inside of me switched on. I'm not sure if it was the fact that when Nick came back from the gym and still found me in bed, all hell would let loose, or the fact i felt I was letting Andy's coaching and mentoring down, but i got up, put my togs on and biked to the pool. The first 10mins of cycling felt like a monstrous effort. I was going at a snail's pace, probably 10km/hr on the flat and was sporting the biggest upside down puppet mouth sad face you could see this side of Bedminster. What a baby! I managed to get to the pool though finally, definitely not a PB commute. As luck would have it, I bumped into Andy coming out of the pool after a long swim session (the one i missed!). Oh dear. He gave me a plan to follow and part of me thought, oh that's nice of him -maybe i will do one section of it then get out. Somehow though,once i got in the pool, i just kept going. I broke everything down into little chunks and just kept plodding along. I swam around 3.4km that session, after thinking i would barely get to 1km! Afterwards, I wasn't overly ecstatic or tired, but i knew deep in my subconscious, something had clicked, changed, turned over or someone had finally hit Ctrl+F5 because i was beginning to feel refreshed and a little bit, dare i say it, raring to go. That was Tuesday. Today is Thursday and even though its only 2 days ago, I haven't skipped a session (a first since January!) and am eagerly looking forward to my 2nd run of the day this evening. It scares me how quickly your mind can change focus or tack from one level to another and what triggers it and when. Definitely I think one trigger is admitting you've got an issue and asking for some help. Everyone wants a bit of attention and support when they are not at their best, so after explaining to Andy how i was feeling about my motivation and training and him responding with helpful advice, it made me feel like i wasn't on my own and that we would find a solution. The other contributing trigger I believe is as simple as getting off your butt and doing something, especially when you dont WANT or FEEL like doing it at all. JUST DO IT! Funnily enough it seems, that when you stand up to your willpower, especially when its about to crank into a full on-middle of the supermarket aisle-call security-screaming tantrum, it learns - just like a toddler, that it CAN'T have it's own way all the time. So simple, but something that so many of us seem to struggle with and be crippled by. Nip it in the bud at that moment in time and you have won one small battle in the war on motivation and are one step closer to becoming who you want to be. My training and willpower now seem to be on an even keel with one another - it's all about a bit of give and take and compromise it turns out. Here's hoping there won't be any supermarket style melt-downs in my top two inches for the rest of the year! And if there are, I know i just have to get out and DO IT! Here's to a 100% week of training and to the next 14 until IMUK!
A tantrum favourite. Check it out:
sarahleonardby member: sarahleonard, Apr 15th 2012 23:07
It's nice when things start to fall back into place...those wobbles happen to us all... so try not to be so hard on yourself!
muz89by blog author: muz89, Apr 17th 2012 09:21
Thanks Sarah - it's nice to know I'm not the only one then that goes through this 'phase'! It is amazing how quickly you can turn your thinking round though if you are honest with yourself.
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