Pushing through your limits…

Photo by Lee Catherine Collins on Pexels.com

Today has been… productive.

After filming the Pastor’s devotional this morning, I headed home, did the editing and then uploaded it to Facebook. After that I dug into my school work, and completed a passable first draft of my next assignment for university.

All told, the essay comes in at just over 1000 words of the 1200 allowed. In likelihood, that number will come up closer to the 1200 as I do my editing on the piece, which is going to be tomorrow’s project.

I’m definitely feeling lighter now that I have the hardest part of that challenge squared away. That essay was definitely starting to bother me with the difficulties I was having in writing it. Oh well, the draft is done now, and that’s what matters. I guess I just had to get into the zone.

For my workout today I ended up doing just under a mile-and-a-half in thirty minutes, which has been my best pace yet. Despite the fact the numbers on the scale aren’t reflecting the changes, I’m feeling pretty good about where things are at. My pace and endurance are both improving, and the second day with some of the exercises being at heavier weights went well as well, with no undue aches or pains.

Between working on my essay and the general crap weather we had today sapping my energy, I was tempted to not do my workout today. I was tired. I was busy. I just wasn’t feeling it. I came up with every excuse in the book to justify not doing it, but I still pushed through and did it anyways, because I know how I would feel if I didn’t. Full disclosure, I did knock off the workout a few minutes earlier than normal, but I got the important stuff done, including the cardio.

According to my Fitbit app I’ve worked out everyday for the last three weeks straight, and I didn’t really want to miss it, regardless how I was feeling. The thing is, I know how I was feeling before the exertion, and I know how I would have felt if I skipped it today.

Former Navy SEAL Jock Willink talks about procrastination and fitness in one of his many podcasts, and the one that really comes to mind thinking about this is such: -I’m paraphrasing here, but…- if you’re tired and want a day off, put it off until tomorrow. If you’re still tired tomorrow, take the day to rest, but chances are tomorrow will come and you’ll be feeling better to carry on.

It was definitely that mindset I took going into todays fitness session. Considering I’ve been giving it hard for the last few weeks, if I still am tired I will take tomorrow as a rest day, though I strongly suspect that won’t be the case.

This mindset has helped me significantly with my mental health recovery as well. Dealing with Borderline Personality Disorder, my emotions are on more of a hair trigger than most. When I am feeling low and depressed, it feels like I’ve been there forever, and that I will never feel good again. The intensity of the emotions is exhausting, but as bad as it feels, it doesn’t last forever. By pushing myself through the lows, I do start crawling out of the other side, eventually anyways. The trick is keeping myself going until that recovery happens. Keeping myself going in my lows has been a challenge, but like the fitness example, if I keep going despite not wanting to, I will cycle out eventually, and days will improve again.

It doesn’t matter whether you are talking about fitness or about mental health, what it comes down to is waging a mind game with yourself.

Another SEAL turned motivational speaker I follow, David Goggins, says that “the mind has the ultimate tactical advantage over you.” He’s right. Pushing yourself beyond what you thought possible when your brain is screaming STOP at you is definitely a challenge, but once you know what your body is capable of, pushing past your limits comes easier.

I can’t profess to have the one-size fits most cure for dealing with mental health issues. All I can do is share my experiences and what I have done to get to the point I am at in my life, and my recovery.

If you’ve read this far, tell me about techniques you use when dealing with tough times. Thanks for following along.

Kevin

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