Last night on that four mile run, I wanted to stop somewhere around 20 minutes into the run. I was going around a track, and I’ve learned that tracks are evil to me. They keep me fitfully aware of all that time passing, and I can’t stand them.
And yet, I persisted.
The “old” me would’ve just given up. In fact, my mental critic said to me, “Who cares? There’s no one out here. You can just go home.” But of course, *I* was still out there, so I couldn’t just go home. I had to finish my running. That’s where the mental toughness kicked in.
I started ticking off answers to the various pains in my muscles. There was the right hip that started telling me it was in jeopardy of falling off. I said, “That’s just lactic acid building up. See how you are on the next lap. If you’re still griping, maybe I’ll stop.” The pain went away. My left hamstring burned suddenly. I said, “If you want me to stop, tell me about it on the next lap.” Nothing hurt.
My head held the reins on all my strength and energy during the run. Somewhere around 36 minutes, I said to myself that after one more lap, I’ll go run off the track and finish the rest of the run on the streets. That seemed to really perk up my entire body, and I made it through the entire four miles without further complaint.
What’s funny is that I’m using my mental toughness training at work. My main detractors are now being likened to muscle pains, and I’m treating them the same way. I’m listening to the complaint, addressing it, and working on preventing it in the future. I’m trying not to let it bother me emotionally, because just like a muscle, some people just have to use complaints as their vehicle for communication. No problem. I’ve got lots more than what they’re giving me.
Personal mantra when running up big hills: “I can handle this.” The same line works perfectly at the office.