BHSK (for short, I guess) has no interest in running, going outside, or really doing anything besides eating, sleeping, and doing other activities of leisure. I would prefer to stay indoors, drink some more coffee, read, and then play some video games.
Now, BHSK knows better though. He would have a super difficult time actually enjoying himself and quieting his mind KNOWING that he never pushed himself today. I set a task and told myself I could do it, but to find an excuse not to do it would only push guilt and more anxiety on top of an already busy mind. I know that my lungs are going to hurt, my legs are going to feel like they can’t move anymore, and I’ll be in some pain for the next few days after.
But it’ll all be worth it. Pushing your heart to the max, getting your blood to flow everywhere in your body – it feels great AFTER. I’m not chasing the sensation of doing the work, but yet trying to reap the benefits that come after it’s all said and done.
“Do it tomorrow, tomorrow will be a better day. It’ll fit into your schedule better.” Sure… sure it will. It’s like this voice that seeks comfort. I’ve started to put it in the voice of Gollum from Lord of the Rings. My precioussess, I want to lounge and enjoy my precious. Feeding that voice is feeding the other wolf.
I recently listened to David Goggins talk about his path and the mental demons he overcomes. The dude pushes himself to the brink of death. Over 4k pullups in 17 hours, 205 miles ran in one session … and I’m going to do 10 hill sprints up a relatively easy hill. I use the term “relative” because it’s still a big enough hill to suck, but I’ve run bigger ones that made me want to cry. This one just makes me pout.
Okay. I’m heading off to do this. I can’t stand to hear my own cowardly thoughts. I’m going
Well, I’m certainly more relaxed. That could partially be the THC-infused gummy worm that I ate right before I went out. You know, for the 7 grams of sugar…
The THC certainly makes it more of an “experience.” I even streamed it on Twitch for a couple friends to watch. Spoiler alert: It sucked. Filming the experience was anything but for the audience. It was knowing the my peers could watch at any point, that there was no giving up, turning back, or quitting.
Almost immediately, I could feel my legs behaving like jelly in the warmup jog. I’m 2 days removed from a heavy deadlift/squat day and my legs are still sore. But honestly, I couldn’t give a shit or allow myself to. Once I turned onto Hill street I knew there was no turning back. There was no turning this into some long jog instead. I was there for the hill, the intensity, the pain, the suffering. Some part of me craved it. Definitely not the logical part.
In the years I’ve been doing hills, this was the first time I carried my phone the whole time. 36 floors climbed, 5 miles run – whatever the fuck that means. I was hoping it tracked how quick I was moving. Guess I’m going to have to get something fancy to attach to my wrist instead. For now, let’s assume Usain Bolt was 5 steps behind……..
The first one is always a great indicator of how the next 9 will go. When I was nearing the top I could feel my legs start to give out. They were getting wobbly.
Shit. We’re in for a rough one. “Just keep jogging instead, it’ll be way easier. Sprints just aren’t in the cards, master. Must stick to realm of comfort and play with the precioussssssss.”
Fuck you. On to the next one. “9 more…”
Once you hear “5 more” you think, “HALFWAY! I’m almost done with this!”
Naw. Those 5 can be the worst. It’s almost like time slows down so you can thoroughly “enjoy” each step, breath, and millisecond. FINALLY, you get to the top and you realize that you have 4 more… 3 more.. and think to yourself that it’s possible you failed basic arithmetic.
“Must only be 1 more because I’m dying. I think I fractured my lungs, they’re not working.”
You’re too tired to talk, too tired to properly take a deep breath, too tired to even walk straight. You stumble back down the hill. 3 more… “but you can go home now and tell everyone you did 10. No one’s going to know, master.”
As much as you hurt, that voice is laughable at this point. The voice starts to fade. Really, motherfucker? You think I’m going to give up now? You’ve got no place here, begonst!
#9 sucks more than #8, but you’ve got 1 left. 1 more brutal 30 second interval, giving everything you’ve got in each step, get to the very top and it’s LITERALLY all downhill after this.
#10 is a celebration. You won’t have to do this to your body for another 7-10 days, push… you’ve got more. You haven’t fallen yet. Bigger strides, faster arm swing, quick breaths…50 feet, 40, 30, 20.. push.. 10, 9, 8, 4, 1… finish line.
I’m huffing, puffing, blowing pig’s houses down, but I can finally smile – I’m done. The walk down, the jog back, it’s nothing in comparison. It’ll be time to reflect, to let my body start to relax, to let my MIND relax. Now my comfort has been earned – until I hear Gollum again. Sure, I could do more… we can always do more, but I won’t begrudge myself because I’m enjoying some time to let my body relax. I was so uncomfortable, that now I can slightly chill… for today.
Tomorrow Smeagol returns. He’ll be back. He’ll want to lounge, relax… and he’s a convincing pest sometimes. There’s always something that can quiet him, not drown him out, but keep his dialogue to a minimum. Hell, if I don’t move around, stretch, clean, create – he’ll be back sooner than I want.
It’s like the tale of the two wolves, right? I want to feed the positive one, but when it comes to the voices, if I keep that little creature’s mouth full, I’ll never hear a peep. Maybe it’s not about which wolf you feed, but which wolf you play with more? Play with the evil, lazy, fat wolf and guess what voice you hear more? I’m going to hang out with the wolf that’s busy, trying to make himself better, and spreading his message. I like that wolf a lot. Put another pile of shit in his bowl so he’s got something to chew on while we go on another adventure.
Before and after an intense workout is like a dramatic shift to the positive. It’s a damn shame not to push yourself physically during the years you can. This time will fade and I want to look back with pride – not regret. There’s no physical goal on the horizon, but when I finally see it… I’ll be ready.