I’ve been seriously struggling to run lately, and I’m finding ways to get it done, but still, sometimes it’s always hard. It’s the chatter in my monkey mind, you see. The constant negative talk that I have to negotiate with in order to lace my shoes up and get out the door.
Do you get that? It sucks, am I right? But you don’t have to let it stop you. In fact, letting it stop you only serves to make that chatter louder and more powerful the next time. Chatter is just that – words. If you are determined to overcome it, then you will. It’s hard, but you can do it if you determine to defy it. Every. Single. Day.
Sound exhausting? Don’t worry. One of the good things about defying the chatter is that every day you do it, the chatter gets softer and a little bit less powerful. Cool, right?
Last week, I had one such typical struggle. I got home afterwards and took poor Husby through the whole thought process from beginning to end, which led to a conversation about the difference between our brains.
Is it a Man v Woman thing? Or is it because I am constantly managing varying degrees of anxiety? Probably a bit from column A and a bit from column B.
Here’s what I mean. This is what I related to Husby that went on in my mind on Saturday morning:
3.15am What time is it? Sun isn’t up yet. I really don’t feel like running this morning. Maybe I should turn my alarm off.
4am Fucking cat – how dare you climb onto the bed and scratch the baby! Is Little Red okay? Yep, back to sleep. I really don’t have to run this morning. My sleep has been so interrupted, I could probably do with the extra z’s.
5:45am Alarm. Damn. Should I lie here? I could just lie here. What’s the point of running anyway? I don’t feel good. I had tonsillitis earlier this week. Maybe I’m still recovering. I probably should take it easy. I could always just go for a walk. Ugh, what a loser!
5:50am Okay, here I am, I’m getting out of bed. I go to the toilet and into the bathroom to wash hands. Look at that, some wily minx has laid out my running clothes in the bathroom – well played, Tate. Okay, I’ll put them on and then see how I feel. My shirt from the Brisbane Half Marathon – it was only three months ago I ran 21km in two hours…okay, I’ll go outside. But I’m just walking. You can’t make me run, so don’t even try.
I head out the door, trying to find the latest instalment of Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales’ podcast Chat 10 Dance 3 on my iPhone. It’s not out.
Fuck it. How can I walk without a podcast to listen to? Maybe I should listen to Serial. Everyone’s been raving about that. I know I’ll be way behind but whatever.
Serial starts downloading. It’s taking ages (i.e. more than three seconds).
Ugh, if I start listening to this, there is no chance I’ll break into a run. I’ll just plod along until it’s over. Is this how I will get to marathon level? NO!
What if I play my Happy playlist and then start walking and see how I feel?
Okay, playing Happy playlist. Start walking.
Second song in: Sunshine and Technology by the Smith Street Band – one of my favourite songs to run to.
How could I not at least trot!
I’m running. Okay, this isn’t so bad.
There are loads of very tall, very lithe long distance runners who all run in the same area as me. I’m sure they are some kind of genetic superhuman breeding program, and all in training to take over the world in their tiny shorts and swishy pony tails. They’re half-inspiring and half-overwhelmingly depressing. This morning I allow them to make me feel a bit shit.
Over-fucking-achievers. Bet they don’t have three kids at home.
But then Fred Astaire by San Cisco comes on. I’m bouncing. I’m lip synching. I’m waving my fingers to the beat. I get into a groove. I lose track of time and – as Eminem recommended – lose myself.
Hey look, I’ve run 5km! That will do for this morning. I’ve got the children to get ready for kindy and school, and I need to wash my hair before work. All right. Head home.
I make a cup of tea and spend five minutes regaling Husby with this stream of consciousness tale of the entire process.
He stares at me incredulously.
I say, “What? What do you think about when you go for a run?”
Husby says, “I think I might go for a run.”
Do you struggle with your monkey mind? How do you shut that fucking monkey up?
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Taming Clive the anxiety monster
Living with anxiety: why you need to keep moving
How I learned to love running (and you can too)
Ha ha ha – you read my mind. This is me to a T. It is so hard to get going but I always feel so good afterwards.
So true, Malinda! Always more than worth it. xx
Better post that play list, Tate. It seems to work.
Your wish is my command. Coming soon…xx
Constantly. And to be honest this week or so is so ridiculously busy with work and kid stuff i am actually not even going to try. But my mum is taking the kids away for a week next week and I am going to use that time to get my monkey mind back under control!
I do that sometimes too. The odd week written off here or there isn’t the end of the world – keeping your eye on the long term prize is much more important. xx
The mind chatter is always the problem. I don’t run but do a 7 k city hill walk. Headphones on, I swear at the radio announcer, do a limited shop along the way (as much as will fit into back pack) and find that…. suddenly the hill has been climbed, shopping done, and chatter quiet.
Perfect! Good on you, Anna. #gettingshitdone
zOMG! Annabel and Leigh have a PODCAST?!!!!!!!!!
How did you not know this?? It’s awesome in its hokiness. Get into it. Leigh sings show tunes.
Oh that is exactly what I think. The monkey has won ALL year! Maybe a good playlist, clothes at the ready is the way to go. I’ll give that a whirl tomorrow morning 😉
Oh, please do! Let me know how you get on. xx
yeah, it didn’t happen! I got up made the lunches and made jewellery instead. May be tomorrow….
Lol, only you can decide when it’s time, grasshopper!
A while ago I had to get up ridiculously early for work. At the time I thought ‘I can do this’ and since then have been getting up an hour earlier at least three mornings a week and going to the gym. I think because it is so bloody early I don’t have the mental energy for the great debate and negative chatter (should keep sleeping/what’s the point/this is madness). I actually think I’m in a half-sleep state until I get out of my car at the gym. And I have taken advice from your previous posts – I sleep in my gym clothes, shoes ready to step into, it’s over and done with early morning before the day starts and, the best point, I have that feeling of smugness all day knowing I have exercised!
Love that smug feeling – it’s the best!
Oh gosh yes, this is me and the husband to a tee! Can you please share your Happy playlist with us one day? I’d love to create an ace running playlist to help motivate me. x
Great idea – the happy playlist is wonderful. Will share soon. xx
Bahahaha! So you.
I cannot run. No really, I flap my hands about and grunt like a wilderbeast when I try. I have similar mind chatter about going to the gym though. I’m pretty impressed by your 5kms before breakfast.
Ha, there’s a great pic in my mind right now! But hey, if you’re going to the gym, you’re moving and that’s awesome. 🙂
I love Fred Astaire by San Cisco. I’ve started the after work walk/run. I don’t listen to music as there are so many cyclists ringing there bells behind me and I like to hear when I’m about to be flattened by a tour-de-sandgate entrant. Yesterday I broke into a run to overtake the guy in front of me who was walking his giant dogs, who had giant testicles (the dogs, not the guy) and I thought, move it or you’re going to be looking at those balls for the next twenty minutes-and nobody needs that!
Lol, hey, whatever motivation you need!
Ha! So funny. Well not really, but funny in the way I get it. I’m okay with getting out the door and starting, it’s the chatter that I have to use to keep going. I go from ‘you’re so slow, hopeless, you’d be better off back in bed’ to ‘just one more kilometer, you can do it. If you can’t you’re a failure you know’ .
And serial has been my go-to podcast for running. But only one episode left! Aaah! Whatever will I do????
Ha! I’m still yet to start Serial. It feels weird to be entertained by a real murder. Is that aspect weird?
Can you believe it was Serial that broke me out of my ‘only ever run for 30 mins’ rut? I started running 40 mins so I could get the whole episode in … and then this weekend I decided to run 1hr 15 mins just for fun. Podcasts – they are the shiz for getting people to run!!
Oh really? I can only walk to podcasts – I need the tunes to get moving. Or I can run with nothing as well – especially in the bush. I’m descending down a rabbit hole of podcasts at the moment, there are so many great ones out there. xx