Friday, July 22, 2011

Willpower

Lessons in doing things I wasn't sure I could do:

-Last weekend I gave my parents' my old standard definition TV. I hadn't turned the thing on since I bought an HDTV, and they could use one in another room. Getting that sucker out of my apartment, down the stairs, and into my car on my own wasn't easy, but I managed to do it. What remained was the entertainment center that the old TV had sat in. Now I didn't need it either.

The entertainment center has been taking up a fair amount of space in my bedroom, and it bore some damage from when I last moved it and the TV. So, the question was when I was going to move it out of my place. The catch: it's heavy, particularly at the bottom, and awkward to try and move. Oh yeah, and the stairs I need to get it down. I suppose it didn't matter if I dinged it up any on the way to the garbage, but I didn't want to make a racket either.

Once I tried lifting the thing, I knew I was in trouble. I told myself that I just needed to get it down the first set of stairs, then down the next set, and finally I could just flip it end over end rather than carrying it. That's basically how it went, plus me sweating like crazy. (I probably could have done this on a cooler day, but I wanted it out.) I wasn't sure I could do it when I started. It wasn't easy. But I got the job done.

-Fast forward to late afternoon and heading to the gym to get in my last day of exercise for the week. As hot as it has been outside this week, it's been as terribly humid in the workout area. I've really had to push myself to finish the other two workouts in these conditions. This would be my third day in a row, and I wasn't exactly feeling it.

I gave myself a mental out. Try to get through a half hour. If I'm feeling gassed, it's OK to stop, especially in this heat. At the 30-minute mark I was pretty much ready to quit but kept telling myself to go just another couple minutes. Now get to 40 minutes. OK, you can stop at 45 minutes. You've made it this far, just finish off the hour. All right, you can lower it one level. This incremental approach led me to getting in the hour-plus workout.

So, at least for one day, I found the determination and will to do the things that were necessary but difficult. It'll be good to have these to look back on for motivation, but the accomplishments themselves are reason enough to feel good.

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