Clearing the dregs

Sometimes it is hard to get going. I like going to the gym with the aim of three, one hour plus workouts a week, with a mix of cardio and lifting weights across the week. Usually the first session of the week is cardio and an abs workout. At the beginning of a workout (after a warm-up), I’ve returned to running again. I used to run, but after an earlier bout of shin splints, I had stopped. However as the first session of the week is more cardio focussed, I will run for longer. The running is easier to keep with if I have a stretching session after any workout, and often before going for a workout. As a separate point, stretching, albeit a little tedious, is the best thing to do after working out, it helps with muscle problems and soreness so much more than you might assume it would.

The other two workouts currently tend to start with a small run, then move to a weights workout focused on a combination such as Shoulders / Back, Arms / Chest, or Legs / Abs. I write the workout beforehand so I know what I’m looking for and focussing on, and I can ensure the workout is balanced on the areas of focus. Having done this for a while I usually have a good library of exercises to draw on (or turn to if what I want is occupied), and try not to repeat exercises too much without a break. An iPhone app “ifitness” is also useful for exercises if looking for some inspiration.

However much I enjoy going to the gym, there are inevitably mornings where I do not want to go, but the key, is to go anyway. The warm-up might be difficult, my legs might feel like they are about to stripped off from the calf muscles up, my energy levels might feel off, especially if stocking up my internal larder on ice-cream and chocolate the night before. But once the blood starts to flow, things start to become clear. The muscles calm down a bit, the heart rate and breathing rate go up, everything else does not seem to matter. The feeling of not wanting to work, goes. My brain seems to wake up again, and I get focused.

Now the reason I’m telling you this is the analogy. Today I approached the keyboard not being sure what I was going to write about. I’d been out all morning, just had lunch and I wasn’t ready to write. Inspiration was in short supply. Until I started typing. This paragraph was going to be first, a minor rant on not having much to say today, or not being in the mood or whatever, whatever, something, something, along those lines, and etc. But I realised it was just like those not wanting to work out mornings at the gym. Once I started to type, the focus moved into place, I did have a little something to say today. If I was to re-read and re-write I would edit and change a few things, but that is not really the point of the exercise. It got me going somewhere. So what I learned today is, whilst inspiration and “the writing urge” might not always be apparent on the surface, what I need to do is sit down and start, then the dregs will clear. It might not immediately fill with the sweetest most delicious liquids, but it gives something to build on. I just need to sit down and start.

Lexicon word for today: Hubris.

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