Thursday, June 18, 2009

My, what a bad attitude we have here

I've never been good at pushing myself physically. My motto has always been "when the going gets tough, start whining and preferably quit alternatively complain more". But somehow I thought I was past that with all the positive things that I had written about previously. I suppose I should have heeded the signs that all was not figured out though. Each time I was on the last interval of the Couch to 5K I would swear that I would never be doing this again because it's just too hard.

The problem is that it is the opposite of what I would love to do more of in life. See adventure magazines make me drool, I can get lost in outdoor shops for hours dreaming up crazy ideas of exploring the wilderness and those huge posters of people 'livin' the dream'? They stop me in my tracks each time. I'm not content to simply be an armchair traveller. I want to be one of the them paddling, hiking or cycling in the great outdoors and loving the challenge. There's just always been one tiny little thing standing in my way, which makes my companions duck for cover (or they resort to bribing me with chocolate - can't whinge when my mouth is full!) - a lousy attitude.

Once I could have argued that I wasn't physically fit, like the time when we cycled in NZ. But last weekend on the overnight hike, I really had no excuses. I felt fitter than ever before and yet at the end of the first day I declared to my husband that I would never, ever accept another invitation to go walking again. Sure I would love to travel the world and hike the best trails on the planet, but walking just for the sake of it was not something I enjoyed doing and everyone had better start accepting that that is just who I am. Needless to say, the following day I didn't have a walking companion as he stayed well ahead of me.

After talking about my attitude with him a few days later, I felt ashamed at how much impact my negativity can have on his experiences. He never gets the self-satisfaction and elation at the end of the day after I've clobbered him over the head with my foul mood. So what of our travel plans for the future? At the moment I sure wouldn't want to walk the Inca Trail or hike to Base Camp at Everest (two of my favourite ideas) seeing as there is a high chance of me getting tired and grumpy.

So for me, I need to learn to push myself physically and be able to deal with that mentally so that I can finally reconcile my love of the outdoors and my aversion to pain. I want to be able to get the most out of my body and push my limits. For my husband, I want to get rid of my lousy attitude so that I can be a good companion so that he can finally enjoy a trip even when the going gets tough. I guess I should start with my very next run.

Any tips for leaning how to deal with the mental aspect of pushing yourself? Is it something that can change or do some people have more resilience than others?


  1. It's so wonderful that you realize the impact your feelings have on your husband's (or any of your travel companions') enjoyment of your excursions.

    Two things come to mind. When I start getting the grumpies while pushing myself, I remind myself of the people who CAN'T do what I'm doing. That helps a lot.

    Another option might be to go with who you are and turn your grumpiness into part of the 'event'. Arm your companions with water pistols and let them zap you when the grumpies get too annoying.

    Hey, I never said they were GOOD ideas. :)

  2. Whenever I get grumpy I pretend that I'm happy. And I manage to convince myself that I really AM happy, and then all is good! Also turning things into a game or changing your perspective with viewing it as play (as MizFit would say) makes a huge huge difference.

    - Sagan

  3. I've been there Spring Girl. But for me, I really did need to get stronger and build up endurance. Ever though you are fitter than ever, maybe it was still too much? Trying to keep up my husband has always been and probably always will be a challenge.

  4. Hi Spring Girl!
    I started running this month and last week was the first time I've run 5K. When I get the grumpies during my runs, I focus on something positive like:
    -what I am doing is good for my body
    -the good weather
    -great music I am listening to.
    Have a good run! :D

  5. Cammy - I love the water pistol idea! That would be sooooo much fun. Thank you.

    Sagan - I shall try that. New motto "I am having fun!"

    Patty - Yes, I know I will never be able to keep up with my husband either, especially when he is running away from me. Oh dear. Anyway working on my fitness will no doubt improve things further.

    Mia - Well done for running! Positive self talk would definitely improve the situation. Thanks.



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