Those Voices In My Head

I was only a few miles into my ride yesterday morning when they started.

The voices.

Not the “I’m crazy and hear voices” kinda voices… although…. I am crazy… but in that good kinda crazy way…anyway… I digress….

I left knowing the weather was less than impressive. Foggy, wet, drizzling, soupy… overall kinda just yucky.

The kind of weather sane people stay insideΒ  and OUT of.

bike weather

My thought was… “oh, it’s gonna be clearing out soon” but that thought was leaving me as I watched water dripping off my helmet and I had to repeatedly pull of my glasses to clean them ( yes, even on dark and wet mornings glasses are essential on a bike)

rainy cycling

The voices started talking…. suggesting things like…

“So this weather isn’t so nice, you can just do a short ride and head home”

“Do you really feel like riding so far out ? All those hills you know? in this weather ?”

“Do you really have the time to ride so far this morning?”

“Knocking a few miles off won’t really matter… really… it won’t”

The annoying chatter continued.

I started considering some of the things rolling through my head. I guess it wouldn’t matter if I cut my ride short… would it ?Β  And yeah, the weather wasn’t so impressive…

I began to mentally push those thoughts away, slowly and deliberately.

You see, I have had some experience with those “voices” as my athletic adventures have unfolded these past couple years.

Those voices offer excuses. They offer an easier way out. They try and convince you that you don’t have what it takes. They tell you that you aren’t strong enough, fast enough, young enough… whatever….They try and keep you happily in your comfort zone.

Our comfort zone is where we stagnate and die.

I first heavily encountered “the voices” during my first marathon in 2013. It was the end of November and a ridiculously hot 89 degree day. Running was brutal under the solid blue sky and unending sun. By mile 21 I was praying for deliverance. … but I am to stupid, crazy, stubborn to ever give in.

The voices started reminding me that the cool down buses were “right there” where I was running. I could go in and cool off for a little and then continue the race. It would be so easy.. just stop for a few minutes. After all, I had been working so hard. 21 miles was a long way, and even longer when the heat was so unbearable.

I passed one, and kept moving. The next one, the pull was stronger. The call louder. I did feel weak… weak against the temptation of what was offered and physically… I was getting depleted on almost every level and it seemed soΒ  easy to give in to it.

But I knew better. I knew physically if I just stopped what my muscles would do. I knew how hard it would be to start again and go back out into the heat and finish those last 5.2 miles. I knew how I’d be so displeased with myself when my time suffered ( I’m so competitive with myself)

I stomped the voices down. I refocused on my goals. I dug deeper in myself beyond what I thought I had in me to finish that race. And I did… it was the sweetest feeling ever crossing that finish line physically, emotionally, and mentally spent. It was one of the most victorious moments of my life.

Marathon 2013 -2
Exhausted, yet feeling over the top victorious, after a brutally hot first marathon.

 

 

 

 

You know what I gained that day? Strength. Strength in knowing that I could overcome and prevail and I had more in me than I understood at that point. I learned that there would be times those voices would riseΒ up to convince me I couldn’t do something or didn’t have it in me and that I had to fight right back against them.

Oh, there have been many other times since then. But now I know what they’re about…those voices are from the weakest part of me… to a great degree I’ve learned to tame them, stomp them down, and press on.

So back to the bike ride…. yeah… you know now what happened. I reminded myself that if I quit, how disappointed I’d be that I had given up.Β  I thought of how I was not only getting physically stronger, but mentally too. That if I was to get to my goals of doing a bike race it would take hard training and training in not so ideal weather. I reminded myself that I would run in weather like I had that morning, cycling wasn’t so different ( ok yeah maybe I shouldn’t take those curves and stuff as fast πŸ˜‰

The more I pedaled, water dripping off me in the foggy morning, the more determined IΒ got and the quieter the voices became.

I finished up my full ride of about 20 miles… and it felt pretty darn good on more levels than one…. and by the time I was done… I had dried out πŸ˜‰

A reminder, perhaps to you. When you feel like giving up and quitting, don’t. Your biggest competitor is within you…. that is who you work against every single time.

When the voices rise up against you ( and I know… some of you will totally get this) push back, work hard, and don’t give in to them.

There’s a new, stronger you, waiting to emerge.

 

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Published by

Sassyfitnesschick

8 years ago I began what I now refer to as my "journey into lifestyle fitness". After a yearly check in with my Dr he said I looked "really good on paper, but I might consider losing a few pounds" I wasn't offended... I knew I needed to but it seemed like to much work at the time. In that year we had adopted 2 girls out of foster care, plus caring for my 3 sons & husband sort of left me on the back burner taking care of "me". I told him I "used to" walk & he encouraged me to at least get back to that. I left his office that day, started, & never quit. As time moved on my walks increased in length & speed. I started mingling some jogging into it...then after more time some short sprints. One day I realized I was doing more running than anything else. I learned to run longer and farther. I constantly challenged myself to do more. I realized I had turned into a runner & was loving it. I have since run 6 half marathons, 2 full marathons, and my first 50K scheduled for March 1,2015. Not bad for a girl who just started off walking not quite 2 miles! My body was now beginning to show the results of my work as weight & inches dropped off. I began to add in boxing & weights on days I wasn't running. Over time as the fat left, my new muscles were waiting underneath =) Obviously, I also made some food changes. Nothing drastic..just started eating less and trying to eat better.. I hated diets and how they made me feel....deprived & left out of all the fun...so adjusting & eating less of what I liked and moving more.. I found myself getting in decent physical shape. It began my thinking of lifestyle and not "dieting". As I got stronger,healthier & more fit it was an easier process to "let go" of some of the foods I had enjoyed. I had more energy, strength and confidence in what I could do. It was empowering. It made me realize that I probably wasn't the only one who wanted to lose weight, be healthy & strong but not always be on some sort of "diet". Maybe my journey & what I had learned & been doing might possibly help others to success in their lives... I consider myself to be rather normal and ordinary ( meaning I haven't always been into fitness and healthy eating) it has been a steady, daily, learned process with good days and bad days and my hope is that you too, will see the greatness in you, and that you have the ability and power to change and do anything you put your mind to. If you want change, you can make it happen. It's just one day at a time, making smart moves and better choices, and before you know it, things are happening. Get started on your journey, really, what do you have to lose ? And yet, so much to gain =)

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