Whenever I go to Clissold Park for a walk or a run, I always mentally prepare myself for the distance. It really helps, but also limits me at the same time. For example, say I tell myself “Monica, get out of bed and go do a lap around the park!” By the end of that first lap, I usually feel like I can’t go any further. And yet, I know I can!
Last Monday I was finally feeling well enough to go for a run. I decided to do three laps, walking the first, then run/walking the second two. I knew I could do it and I did. It felt incredible! And once again, I marveled at the power of mental preparation (and a good podcast).
Consequently, my friend, Stu, was also at the park that day on his run. He later wrote a wonderful post about motivation that I want to share with you now. He talks about his first run at Clissold Park and his struggle to make it around once.
The hardest thing wasn’t the physical challenge. I was pretty sure I could do it, but I had a real mental block and in that first lap I really did think ‘I can’t do this’ and lo, at the end of one lap had to walk. But summoning up the courage I did go a bit further, slowly and at my own pace. I felt OK and did manage to keep going. And at first that’s all you have to do.
All you have to do is keep going. Get over that first hurdle and keep at it.
I hope Stu doesn’t mind me sharing so much of his post, but his closing words really struck a chord for me. Maybe they will for you too.
Fundamentally, if you’re reading this and thinking you’re interested in running but ‘there’s no way I could do that’ then all I can say is I was once like you, not that long ago and I managed it. The guy who likes to stay out late, enjoy more than the odd beer and who until 5 years ago didn’t look after themselves properly physically or eat the right food. It doesn’t take much to change your habits to get started and give it a good crack. You’ll be surprised. But definitely, I understand its a mental challenge, but stick to it. The rewards are great and you don’t have to push yourself too hard to get up to a good level of fitness or be able to enter competitions where you don’t disgrace yourself.
Getting Motivated by Stu