Yesterday I had to dig deep to complete my workout. I am pursuing a long held dream and I did it. I completed my 8miles on the bike in the gym (didn't have available child care to do it on the road).
It was painful. More than I expected. I have done six miles before, a few times. But then, I did it on the cushy seat of the regular gym stationary bikes. Yesterday, I decided to get on one of the road bike simulator bikes. They have a small, not cushy seat, handle bars in actual correct location causing me to bend over more than the other bike, and they are right in front of the gym. And I wore my new training pants (compression pants) that are super tight. Yikes!
I was pretty unnerved about wearing those pants out in public since they are super tight and my body, let's face it, is no where near a size that should be wearing anything super tight. A friend of mine stated it well, "wear them like it's nobody's business, because it is nobody's business". They are a means to an end, not a fashion statement. Anyone my size wearing something like that, knows EXACTLY what it looks like! But, they worked, my ride was much better in them than in the cotton capri pants I have been wearing to the gym.
The pain in my rear was significant, but the pain in my arms and wrists surprised me. It kept distracting me. I was trying to keep the good form the gal who fitted me for the bike told me about. Soft elbows, relaxed shoulders, etc. But it was super hard.
So, here is how I did it. These aren't trade secrets or anything, I am just sharing how God has provided the strength for me in really amazing ways.
1) Years ago I learned a term called "soft eyes". It was in a book called "Centered Riding". It talks about picking a focal point in the distance and then seeing the other things around it without directly focusing on them. I have used that knowledge in many places, but yesterday, it really help me stay relaxed, no matter how uncomfortable I was.
2) I almost always ask God what I am to listen to while I work out. I want the Author of my life to lead me in every area - including what I put in my head during workouts. Yesterday, it was Jars of Clay, the first CD they every put out. It spoke to me of how far I had come from where I was when I first heard that music over ten years ago. It brought godly inspiration and courage when I was running out of both.
3) I decided to go half way. Since I have had this head cold my energy has been pretty low. But, I have not wanted to stop or even slow down my training. My last few days have been pretty low key so I have had good rest time after my workouts. I determined after the first couple of miles that I was miserable and could only make it half way. I set my mind to making it four miles.
However, after I stepped off the pedals at four miles and felt the numbness wear off in my nether regions I looked at the bike and the clock and decided to keep going. At least another two miles. After all, I am already half way there, right? So I did. At six miles I got off the bike again. Looked at the stats on the monitor and determined that since I only had two more miles, I can surely finish it... of course I can! The last mile was so hard to get through but the relief and the excitement when I did was spectacular! Sometimes I think that is why I keep going. For the exhilaration of finishing what I didn't think I could finish.
So much of exercise is a head game (and so is life). I know that now. I am glad the God who speaks to me, who knows all that goes on in my head gave me what I needed to do what He asked me to do. I am counting on that same God for all that I need to do today.