Friday, March 1, 2013

The Unnecessary Cost of Dread

Approaching the end of week 1 of "Forced Discipline and Regimen Month" I am reminded of an important lesson I have forgotten since I was 17.

Look here at this video.

You'll notice the girl spends many minutes agonizing and fearing the jump off the cliff.  It is not until her boyfriend pushes her does she actually go.  I had a similar experience when I was 17 jumping off of the Interstate Park cliffs into the St. Croix River that separates Minnesota and Wisconsin.  The cliffs are 100 feet tall and they go straight down into the water.  I remember climbing up to the top of them and there there was a similar hemming and hawing as your eyes and brain tried to rationalize and take in the precipitous fall.  However, that is the WORST part of it.  Once you commit yourself to jumping and do it, it isn't that bad.

The lesson I learned from it was not to look.  Looking only leads to dread and fear, and is the unnecessary price you pay for a task that, though thrilling, is not going to hurt you.  And when it comes to working out, it is the same thing.

I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE lifting weights.

It's boring.  It is mind numbing.  And the only benefit is physical.

However, since I hate it so much, I dreaded doing it.  But much like cliff jumping or cliff swinging, it was the dread that made it 10 times worse than it actually was.  In other words since blindly committing to lifting weights, I no longer let my brain entertain or contemplate the option not to.  Since blindly committing to running 6 miles the days I don't lift, I don't let my brain fear the temperatures or cold.  And since blindly committing to not drinking and avoiding carbs, cravings have gone away.  In just putting your fatherly foot down on your own mind and saying, "we're doing this" there is no chance for your brain to fear or dread it, making it all that much easier.  There is no debate, there is no discussion, there is no rationalizing your way out of it.  It's just a daily chore, you're going to do and the calories of energy you'd normally spend dreading doing it are now repurposed into doing it.  It is a skill definitely worth learning.

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