Friday, January 20, 2012

Crossing My Clear Line

It's been a spotty few days with training.

At the end of last week I traveled to New York City and despite setting all kinds of intentions, no work outs got done there.

In the grand scheme of my 2012 theme being Consistency, I can handle a few missed workouts here and there -- particularly since there is a clear line between consistency and perfectionism. As long as toeing that line does not degenerate into making excuses, I'm golden.

So I acknowledged the disappointment and moved forward.

To this week -- where I faced a motivation problem. Sigh.

If this were easy everyone would do it and blah blah blah.

I get all that. I believe it. It's true.

Still sucks sometimes though.

Yesterday's workout called for 1:05 on the bike trainer with some pretty intense zone 3 work. Ugh. Sigh.

Tony came over to do it with me.

We popped Breaking Away into the dvd player and got started. Badly. My energy level felt low while my irritation level was high.

The dvd malfunctioned. Predictably, I lost it (seriously cannot stand it when things don't work the way they're supposed to). There was cursing (me) and giggling (Tony). He always thinks it's funny when I lose it.

The dialogue went something like this:

Stef: I am NOT getting off the bike to deal with this.

Tony: Oh no of course not don't worry about it (smiling).

After messing around with the remote for a few minutes trying to "unfreeze" the movie I gave up and threw it as hard as I could into the chair between our two bikes]

[Shelly if you're reading this it may remind you of last May (lol). ]

The warm up was over and it was time for the first zone 3 interval.

Imagine my irritation (rage) when my heart rate would not elevate despite feeling like I was working really hard, despite the big gears and 60-75 rpms I was pushing.

The voice in my head went something like this:


What the F*#K!

You're a failure, a wimp, a loser

You haven't eaten enough, of course your body can't perform, you're so incompetent you can't even feed yourself


This is what you get for setting such high goals you're going to FAIL miserably and everyone's going to know

Major flashbacks of 2007 happened.

I mumbled something about how my heart rate wouldn't go up -- and cursed again for good measure.
Tony: You'll be okay. You know all that visual and mind stuff you do?

Stef: Yeah

Tony: Do that.

Stef Thinks: Well F$*K if it was that easy everyone would do that now wouldn't they and blah blah blah.

The first zone 3 interval ended with my heart rate nowhere near zone 3.

Meanwhile, Tony had gotten off his bike and was messing with the dvd player. I envied his patience -- stuff like that never phases him. He got it working again, got back on his bike and laughed with delight.

Time for the second zone 3 interval.

Heart rate stubbornly won't get into zone 3 despite the sheets of sweat that pour off me. Start to wonder if something is seriously wrong with me.
The voice (in a much nicer tone now) says: Maybe you should back off, try again another time, make the rest of the ride easy.

And that my friends, is My Clear Line. A line that, 90% of the time, for me, this year, needs to be decisively crossed. So f*@k you, undermining little voice, I'm NOT holding back. I'm forging ahead. 

Holding back has caused me more pain and heartache during the last year than I can even tell you right now.

There I was, faced with crossing My Clear Line in a moment that meant everything.

Meanwhile the dvd was screwing up now multiple times and each time Tony giggled and fixed it. Getting on and off his bike. Messing with the machine. Messing with the remote. Keeping the movie going. Rolling with the punches, going with the flow.

Him doing exactly that is what helped me calm down. Helped me get into a space closer to "the zone." Helped me to summon my ample reserves to start the third zone 3 interval. And once my mind quieted, the heart responded.

Zone 3.

Big gears.

60-75 rpms

Sweat pouring off

Minutes ticking by.

Doing the work.

Showing up.

Stubbornly forging ahead.

2 more intervals completed.



Before he went home Tony said, "I love to be here when you throw tantrums like that."

"Why??" I asked a bit nonplussed.

"Because then I get to see you pull it all together. I'm so proud of you. "

Today (a day when there are two runs on the schedule), I love seeing myself the way Tony sees me.

And let me tell you there's nothing like the satisfaction of coming out the other side of a tough workout feeling stronger than when you went in.


Have a great weekend.


Lisa said...

cool that you were/are able to work through your mental stuff and make it happen!

Wes said...

look at the TrainerRoad stuff. You just need the Garmin speed/cadence sensor and an Ant+ stick. Then you can do your intervals on power rather than heart rate.

but... way to recover. Tony is worth his weight in gold!

Have a great weekend! I'll be trying out some Sumatra free trade coffee tomorrow!

EarthJoy said...

Stef, Yes I remember last May and you pulled it off there too!! I love the cactus in the background. The first time I looked at it I thought it was flipping me off. Then I looked again and it was the peace sign. Similar to your post. In the beginning F*** this and that and then to peace. KEEP ON ROCKIN!! Love you Shelly

Kathy said...

Hah! 1 hour into my 90 minutes on the bike last night and my cable box froze. Grr, grumble grumble. Hollered to my family for a hand but no one heard me. However, my final 30 were extra speedy because I was so pissed (and I wasn't about to stop)!

Heather Dominick, EnergyRICH® Entrepreneur Success Coach said...

Awesome. And reminds me of the section I was telling you about in "Eat. Pray. Love." - in many ways: the high-level of excellent writing, content and format :) xoxo