How Easily the ‘Don’t’ Outweighs the ‘Do’

After two weeks away from the studio I broke the bad habit and ventured back into one of my favorite, healthy addictions –Pure Barre. They say that when starting out it takes eight classes of Pure Barre to really get the hang of it and to start seeing results. After three years of being an addict, I can say that it still takes me about half of that to feel like I can survive the class giving it 100% after too long of a hiatus – and two weeks is too long. The second I walked through the door, however, I felt re-motivated and determined to last through each repetitive movement of the full-body workout that makes every muscle group shake. Icing on the cake – by chance, the instructor for the day was even one of my favorites. Want to know why? Because she says “recommit” a near 51 times throughout the 50 minute endeavor!

For me, it is always the arms that gets me. I can squat, lunge, and sprint all day but the moment it turns to push ups and arm resistance my heart rate goes straight through the roof. Without a doubt the weakest part of my body. Today, as my arms held in a wide o-shape with resistance bands doing what they do best the instructor came on to say that we were halfway through! Almost there! Then she continued to say –

“From here on out keep your arms lifted. Do not let them drop. Remember why you came this morning.”

Sounds motivating, right? Well for me all I heard was “Do not let them drop.” Before that statement I had no intention to let them drop. The increased challenge of the weights was starting to kick in and the burn was causing my biceps to shake – but I had no intention of stopping. Then, I stopped. The pure mention of the possibility that I could stop outweighed all of the positivity in my mind saying I wasn’t planning on it. Within a second. This got me thinking.

One of my main goals in marathon running is to never stop. Doggy paddle on the pavement as much as necessary, but never stop. What if someone in the cheer-squad crowd were to yell ‘YOU CAN WALK NOW!’ as I passed the 20 mile marker? With my mental game hanging on by a thread, would I stop dead in my tracks? Thank goodness cheer squads are actually the most positive reinforces for any runner, and honestly, one of the main reasons we all make it through – but instances like this come in all shapes and sizes when pushing ourselves.

So how do we as runners (or active individuals in general) prevent this positivity overthrow? The first step is knowing that this will come. Be prepared. The second is knowing what thought will offset this mess in an instant. The second you hear your mind going “Hmm…I could stop…” you need a visual to fall back on. Go back to when you set your goals. You wrote it down, right? Or put it as your phone background? Use this. This could be that picture of you in your best shape hanging in your closet or your finisher medal from your first-ever 5k. Maybe it is the thought of your kids who admire you more than anything in the world or that Negative Nancy in your life that told you this goal completion was unlikely. Whatever it is, take some time and figure out what that instant motivation is and have it handy!!

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