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A Peek Inside My Mind

A Peek Inside My Mind

by macdaddy on June 14, 2010 · 11 comments

I‘ve been plagued by mental lapses my entire life. It seems that my acuity fluctuates like the tides. One moment I’m in it to win it and the next I don’t give a damn. This is why I wasn’t a great athlete in high school–no killer instinct. It’s why I wasn’t at the top of my class either–A’s and B’s are pretty good, right?

Sunday afternoon, I played tennis with a friend. Neither of us play often and neither of us are very good. For various reasons, I felt as if I should have won. But I didn’t. And it’s not a big deal. But at one point, as Pam and Liam were sitting on the side watching, she whispered into his ear, “Daddy’s not concentrating.” Of course, the 3 year old repeated it for me to hear and Pam whispered, “Shhhhhh!” because she didn’t want me to know what she said. But she was right. I wasn’t concentrating and I wasn’t winning the points that I should have been winning.

You may ask what’s the big deal? The big deal is that I wasn’t giving it my all. I don’t care that I lost, I care that I wasn’t working as hard as I possibly could have to make sure that I won.

Then yesterday, I played golf while the kids were at day camp in the morning. I made some really good shots–when I concentrated and took my time. But when I just got up there and swung the club, the results were definitely less than desirable. This is just another example of me not concentrating and settling for mediocrity.

I don’t know why I do this. I don’t know why I think it’s ok to be ok. I know I have the potential to be great, I’ve seen it before. I just don’t know how to light the fire and keep it burning.

If you hadn’t noticed, my head is definitely not in the game. Ever since the marathon, I haven’t been able to get my mind around what’s next for me. Countless people have told me that I need to make new goals and start training towards those goals. And this makes sense to me. But do I really need to be training for something every day for the rest of my life? Am I destined to gain weight and lose fitness if I don’t have a target to shoot for? Why can’t homeostasis be a goal? I don’t want to gain weight. I don’t want to lose weight. I just want to remain where I am. We’ll see what happens.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dave June 15, 2010 at 4:30 am

Well I saw something the other day that indicates self control is a limited resource. If you have been focusing on the Marathon as intensely, and now backing off on that focus, its propagating to other aspects.

original : http://www.fastcompany.com/video/why-change-is-so-hard-self-control-is-exhaustible
From http://unclutterer.com/2010/06/07/self-control-is-an-exhaustible-resource/

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2 Ken June 15, 2010 at 5:41 am

You have your own answer. Your goal is to maintain, but that won’t happen by just being. What do you or will you do on a daily basis to maintain? This blog has been a peek inside your life as you have made your transition to being where you want to be and that has kept people engaged. The next part of the journey is how to stay there. It doesn’t just happen, so tell us what you are doing, so when we get where we want to be we know what to expect. Be the leader. Read Seth Godin’s “Tribes” if you haven’t. It’s about this kind of opportunity.

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3 Kimberly June 15, 2010 at 8:15 am

It’s good to know I’m not the only one that struggles with this.

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4 John June 15, 2010 at 9:25 am

One of my most embarrassing moments happened when I was playing basketball with a friend in a local park (I was 23, I think). A couple of kids – maybe 12 – challenged us to a game, and my friend (who was 6’4”) and I agreed. We got smoked, mostly because I got to a point where I just gave up. Sure, the kids were quicker than we were, but my friend was so much taller that he probably could have beaten them by himself. I remember him saying to me as I moped home: “You played like you didn’t give a crap.” And he was right. That summer I made a commitment to get better at basketball, shooting drills and playing when I could. I’m still not very good, but at least I did something about it. Sometimes that’s what it takes to refocus us: a moment where we’re caught by others napping on the job. And the only way to regain our dignity is to swallow our pride, admit our mistakes and make a commitment. Look, I didn’t HAVE to practice shooting baskets after that; I could have easily brushed it off. But I didn’t. I couldn’t. And it had nothing to do with wanting to be GREAT at basketball. It had to do with being good enough for me.

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5 Nichole June 15, 2010 at 9:55 am

As a former college basketball player, and now a college basketball coach I have experienced and seen this often. I could enter a game, score 10-12 points in a row in like 10 minutes, and then go scoreless the rest of the game. Why? I wouldn’t stay engaged in the game. I would find myself not focused or reacting to adversity placed in front of me. Now as a coach, I see my players struggle with this same issue. I try and preach to them that a great player is the one who is consistent. On that same note, there are only two things within your total control during any kind of activity, your effort and your attitude. You can’t control whether the ball goes in the hoop every time, or if you hit that shot just right in golf, but you can control how much effort you put into something and the attitude in which you approach something. Therefore, your mentality of maintaining is great, because you are consistent and will continue to be so if you’re constantly bringing your effort and your attitude!

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6 fit36.com June 15, 2010 at 10:49 am

I think that the reason homeostasis is a challenge is that you’ll have already backslid by the time you realize you’re not achieving your goal. When you are working toward a goal, a failure to progress is enough to give you a kick in the butt. When you are trying to stand still, then the only warning sign you have is when you start to lose ground.
.-= fit36.com´s last blog ..First Four Miler and Second 5k Race =-.

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7 Scott June 15, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Interesting Mac.

In the past, you wrote about motivation. You wrote how everyone has their own motivation, and each person individually must find what motivates themselves. (at least that was my take on it.)

Now, Why did you run the marathon? What motivation was running the marathon for you? I know for myself, that having a triathlon at the the end of the summer has really increased my workouts. I know without that goal, my workout schedule would be reduced. Now, that’s not so bad, but I also know that if I don’t workout as much, I must adjust my eating habits accordingly.

I know many individuals who run, and they say they run just so they can eat the junk food they want to have every now and again. They don’t run competitively or in races, they just run. But the running frees them from diet restrictions. To me that is someone who loves running.

I’m not that person. Are you? Have you found the exercise you like to do regardless of goals? Maybe its the mindless exercise of running that is not for you?

Another idea is: Maybe it would serve you best to re-read some of your posts on motivation over the past years. Write about a post about what you’ve learned over the past few years, Reflection. what would you say to yourself two or three years earlier when you were struggling now that you’ve achieved? Of course you can link to the best ones you like.
.-= Scott´s last blog ..4 lessons learned from a triathlete in training =-.

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8 Joe June 16, 2010 at 5:46 am

I have spent so much time in that mindset. It took years before I started running just for the joy of running. I came to enjoy it just for the run. You need a fitness activity like that. It may be running, maybe something you haven’t tried.
.-= Joe´s last blog ..Adding Motivation to Your Routine and My First Contest =-.

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9 AndrewENZ June 16, 2010 at 11:11 am

I think you’ve got the post marathon blues. The best way to cure them is to sign up for another marathon and start training! :)

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10 Anonyme June 16, 2010 at 1:04 pm

If you actually wanted to win the games, then yes you needed to step up your focus. But if you simply wanted to have a good time playing with friend and family, then your level of effort was fine. The same with your health – right now you can handle a lot of physical activity, but do you want to do more? What do you want from your body? Well I guess you haven’t figured this out yet, hence all these conflicted feelings.

And please don’t think your current level of fitness is just ‘ok’. I think it’s great! You’ve come a long way from when you first started this blog.

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11 Danny June 28, 2010 at 8:28 am

You conquered a marathon, now hit the pool and the bike and prepare for a triathlon!!!

I think you’re just not sure where to go, since you always had goals of losing weight, and then running a marathon which took a while. Now that you don’t have weight to lose you need a new goal, maybe even unrelated to fitness as long as you keep working out and eating right.

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