Setting your mind to something and finishing it is one of the greatest ways to strengthen your will-power, to know that it really is mind over matter, and to prove to yourself that you are strong and in charge of you. It is also about taking responsibility for your choices and owning the consequences. It is about being totally honest with yourself. If you are doing these things, you are one strong person! Let’s be honest about this though, we are never going to be 100% perfect at that. Life is one big practice field and we gain strength from our reactions to difference scenarios. We learn little by little and we become stronger little by little.
When I stumbled across 12 Minute Athlete a little bit ago and read about a 100 burpee challenge, I knew it was something I wanted to do. So I signed up to receive a reminder to participate in the next challenge. The reminder came this week and for two days it was mental preparation mode. I’m pretty in shape and fit, so I knew my body could handle it. I recruited my morning running group to participate with me. They also join me for Wednesday morning circuit workout at a local high school that I teach. Mostly they think I’m insane with some of the workouts I pull together, but they love me afterwards. So we all discussed the burpee challenge after our 5 mile run this morning, with some trepidation. The look of fear in their eyes! My mind was already made up and there was no turning back for me. We decided we would e-mail each other with our times for accountability.
So, my time came for me to go through with the workout after the morning routine with getting children off to school and the little one settled into some toy playing. I knew I could probably finish in under 10 minutes, but other than that there were no expectations set for myself other than to finish and establish a base line to improve upon. With anything new you try that is an important concept. Have a general goal, like 10 minutes for me, but don’t make the goal so hard that if you don’t meet it, it discourages you. However, you do need some sort of expectation to at least push yourself.
The burpee style over at 12 Minute Athlete is different from how we do it in Circuit class only in that we do a full body push up. Watch the video over at 12 Minute Athlete for her version. No matter what, a burpee means business and there’s no fooling around.
I set my timer and was off to the races. Pace yourself, this is a lot of jumping and arm movement, so just pay attention to your breathing. After about 60 burpees the mental thoughts start coming, “okay, you’ve done good.” “You can stop now.” Now.” “I said NOW!” HA! Push through it. At 80 you know you can finish. Just 20 more, no big deal. Make them good and make it count. When you’re done you push that stopwatch so fast and then catch your breath as your whole body shakes from the exertion you just put it through. What an exhilarating feeling! My stopwatch said 7:45. That’s a great place to start at. I can only get better. July 4 is the next challenge. Now there’s a way to start the holiday with a bang!
What do you do when you have mental hurdles to overcome? What are your coping mechanisms?
*I do not have any connection with 12 Minute Athlete. I just stumbled across the website one day and wanted to do this challenge. It’s good to share good finds, and that’s the only reason I mention the website.*