Monday, September 12, 2011

Putting My Rocks In First

Have you ever heard the story about the professor who gave his class a lesson about priority using a jar, rocks, gravel, sand and water? It is one of my favorite examples of how to best get done what you need to during the day. I have used it many time for lessons at church and in other teaching opportunities I have had over the years. If you haven't heard it you can read about it here.

I have been rearranging my rocks lately as school has started for my boys and I have added some goals to my life that I want to work on. Some of you might have heard about Eric's huge life change lately as he lost 75 pounds over the last year. He did it by exercise and diet. He really got into running, became super committed and completed his first half marathon last spring. He was prepared to run his second race this summer but tore his hamstring playing baseball the week before the race. It has taken several months for it to heal, but he feels strong enough once more and is back out hitting the pavement pepping for his next race in October. My husband has been very inspiring to me as I have watched his journey. He loves what he is doing and it is so fun to see his success and results!

So as the goals started to be put down on paper for myself this fall naturally my mind turned to Eric and his running. As I previously mentioned I am trying this workout program Insanity (which has been fun, but I totally flaked last week.) but there is something about running that I love so much. But with Eric running at night, and our work outs together, plus this little part of my life about being a mother to 4 there just isn't time to squeeze running into my day. Then there is the nagging thought that I could always go in the morning. I have successfully tuned that voice out for a while now, but reality has hit and if this is something I want to do, it must be done in the morning. There is just one little problem with that.... IT IS SO EARLY!!

I am a night person and have been FOR-EV-ER. Like seriously, stay up all night and get all my stuff done then. Morning runs would require me to wake up at 5 am so I could go and be back before Eric left for work. I have to say I am a little motivated because I know if I did this I could expand my work out clothing wardrobe, which would be cute and fun, but can I function on one hour less of sleep than I already have? It is a thin line....

I found this article online of ways to help that can't get up in the morning problem written by Jeff Galloway encouraging some new techniques to get moving in the morning.

Even though the best time for running during hot weather is in the early morning, many runners are unable to overcome the gravity of the bed. But you can overcome this by using the following rehearsal drill that you should do over and over the afternoon and evening before your runs. This will shift your mental control from your subconscious (which wants to stay in bed) to the executive brain which can get you focused and into the action.'

Try these:

State your desired outcome.To be awake and fully engaged in the run, from the start. This starts the process of shifting mental control into the frontal lobe, the executive brain.

Detail the challenge.Desire to lie in bed, no desire to exert yourself so early. The stress of the alarm clock and having to think about what to do next when the brain isn’t working very fast.

Break up the challenge. Break it up into a series of actions which lead you through the mental barriers, which is challenging to the subconscious reflex brain. Your conscious focus is on the next step in the chain, not the run.

Get ready to run. The night before, lay out your running clothes and shoes (often near the coffee machine), so that you don’t have to think about anything.Set your alarm. As you are laying in bed the night before, say to yourself over and over: “Alarm off, feet on the floor, to the kitchen.”

Visualize each action. As you repeat your mantra the night before of how to get moving, visualize doing each action without thinking. By repeating it, you lull yourself to sleep. You have also been programming yourself to take action the next morning.

Alarm goes off. You shut it off, put feet on the floor and head to the kitchen—all without thinking—because you programmed the conscious brain to take control.
Don’t think. Act. Put on one piece of clothing at a time, sipping coffee (or tea, diet cola, etc.), never thinking about exercise.

Check the weather.With coffee cup in hand, clothes on, you stick your head out the door to see what the weather is like.

Final rehearsal. Driving to the workout or race, sipping your beverage, you rehearse seeing friends, feeling the positive energy of an event, easing into the workout/race, feeling good about your exertion. Or, you walk to the edge of your property, put the coffee cup down and cross the street. You're on your way. The endorphins are kicking in. The positive peptides are rising, you feel good, you want to continue.

Principle of motivational physics: A body on the bed wants to stay on the bed. But once a body is in motion, it wants to stay in motion.

So lets see if maybe tomorrow I can put my first rock into my jar and have it be running.... who knows how the rest of the day will turn out if I do!

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