I just got back from a long ride out on the bike. It was one of those days and fitness sessions when you quickly realise things are not going to go your way. I’m sure you have experienced the feeling yourself, when your body just doesn’t respond the way you would like it to and your mind screams at you to forget about the days training session and cut it short to avoid the discomfort.
I was faced with that very decision this morning, whether to cut short my session or not. I was only about ten minutes into my ride and my legs started to feel very heavy and my breathing was fast and uncomfortable. It was hailing (painful to say the least) and i had a really strong head wind against me. I questioned my sanity, what the hell am i doing putting myself through this? By the time i usually reach this point i would be feeling quite relaxed and well prepared for my next two hours on the bike, but like i said, it was just one of those days.
Fairly soon into my bike route i encounter what i like to consider a ‘point of no return’ decision, which coincidentally is around ten minutes into my ride. I am presented with the opportunity to steer off course at a junction in the road and head onto a very short route back to my home where i could get warm, drink refreshing coffee and feel rather sorry for myself, not to mention the feelings of guilt for cutting my ride short.
Blasting Through the Wringer
As i approached the ‘point of no return’ i was faced with a choice. Should i continue and ‘blast through the wringer’ or should i quit and return home? I had to make up my mind quickly, so the battle commenced furiously in my mind for the next 60 seconds of my journey.
I will announce right away that i continued with my journey. I decided to endure two hours of emotional and physical exhaustion in the cold wind, hail and rain.
When we manage to overcome such adversity the feeling of achievement can be overwhelming and as i continued on with my ride i certainly had a grin from ear to ear. This achievement spurred me on and suddenly i felt refreshed and energised, my struggles had evaporated and i could enjoy myself on the bike once again – i even embraced the weather conditions and felt content with the cold and heavy rain.
Overcoming Fitness Adversity
So what happened to me during those 60 seconds of uncertain decision making as i approached the point of no return? What did i do to get myself through it? Why did i decide to continue?
This is what went through my mind at the time:
What would the professionals do? What would the extremely small percentage of people do to encourage themselves to continue from here? What is the secret to their success and determination? What do they know?
The answer is very simple.
They know how to be consistent. Consistency is the key to all of their success and determination and it can be the key for anybody if they can manage to maintain consistency during their fitness regimes. This means completing all planned fitness sessions no matter how much your mind works hard to convince you that you do not want to do it.
“Those sessions that we do not want to do are the most important sessions of all”
This statement could not be more true. If you can manage to complete the sessions you do not feel like like doing then you are the person who will reap the rewards as apposed to those individuals who decide to give up and go home. The sessions you do not want to do will make all the difference because they allow you to improve your consistency. Nobody ever says they regret doing a workout, though they can often regret not completing one.
The sense of achievement is massive once you have completed a workout you did not want to do, this fills you with confidence and motivation to do it again in the future.
Success is just one step outside of your comfort zone. Take that step more often, you may surprise yourself. I did.