I’ve learned that those pumped up inspirational quotes and memes about the mental aspect of exercise and training are really true. I’ve known it on a superficial level for years but secretly considered most of it hype and hyperbole. The physical is more important; without the ability there’s no game, no results no matter how positive your mindset. Or so I thought.
In the past I considered the mental aspect as that little voice pushing me to finish, to go harder, try a little more, a little longer. It was just positive thinking.
Ironically one reason I walked was it helped me deal with change. When Jerry died last year going for a walk was one way I could think and clear my head. The extra oxygen helped too. This year when my son told me he wanted to start walking we did, he started slowly but being younger he adapted quickly. Our distances increased and it gave us both something we needed, time to talk about things including his father. He told me his plans to go overseas again and by the time he left he had lost nearly 30 pounds. The only physical difference I noticed was my butt wasn’t as loose anymore.
This summer I was doing well, even going for little one and two minute sprints during my walks. Then there were some big changes: my son left to work in Vietnam, I left my job, and I moved. So I stopped walking, it was time-consuming and I had to pack and sort Jerry’s things. There were more important things to do. Being summer it was also hot, even in the evening it was in the 90’s..
I quit for two months, then started again in a half-hearted way. Sometimes I walk three times a week, sometimes just once. I gave up yoga because I couldn’t afford it anymore. I’ve been lazy, finding reasons to not walk. I can, I know I need to and I know it’s good for me but I can’t find the motivation to go. This is when I learned that mental strength is important , without the will there is no way the body will follow. It’s a heckuva way to learn a lesson.
I walked today, a short walk, because I was forced. I put on my walking clothes this morning thinking it would push me into going. It didn’t, I made some weak excuse and it wasn’t until my sister pointedly asked me if I was going to walk, so shamed into it I did. I still didn’t feel like it, the day was warm but there was a cold wind blowing. I went anyway, I felt better after but I know I’m a long way from being where I need to be mentally. If I can get that back the physical part will be easy.