As I've pushed my physical limits in the past few weeks, I'm reminded of one of my biggest hurdles: my own laziness. And I'm not just talking exercise or physical activity. At any given moment, I'd rather sit still and get lost in thought than do ... just about anything. There've been very few things in life that wake me up in the morning excited for the day.
Add to that 1) a loath to continue doing anything I'm not good at; and 2) a knack for procrastination, and it's a wonder that I don't actually weigh about 100 pounds more.
So what exactly is it that's got me thinking about this now? Well, I brought myself to the edge of disappointment on that 23-mile bike ride with Patrick this past Sunday. I was beating myself up for being a wimp (aka, struggling to climb tiny hills on my lowest gears, and with my butt hunched limply on the seat). I momentarily entertained the idea that I don't have what it takes to get fit. That I'd ultimately crumble to the judgment I placed on myself and the difficulty of the work.
This sounds less like a crossroads with laziness than with self-doubt, which I suppose it is. But I see the laziness in that willingness to give up, and possibly under so little actual pressure: it was my first bike ride after years of not cycling. And it was 23 miles, perhaps the longest leisurely ride I've ever done outside our trips along the Creeper Trail.
But all I saw was a little wall ahead, and I thought it might be better to turn around then to try to climb over it (or at least hang out at the bottom until my powers of persuasion tore it down).
I'll wager I've met these moments before, with a wall in the distance and my ego deflated. And I know for a fact that I haven't gone around climbing any walls. Which means that even just the promise of a wall has been enough to turn me away from any serious attempt (just an attempt!!) to achieve my goals.
You know what, though? Change is here.
I was seriously deflated on Sunday, but as we got closer to home, I was already talking about incorporating long rides into our weekend plans more often; even lugging our bikes on the weekend trips we take to Asheville, N.C., (where there are serious hills ... and 12 Bones Smokehouse, where even their sides platter would be the perfect reward for riding those hills).
And in the other moments that I've felt overwhelmed recently -- climbing in spin class, getting my ass kicked trying to barely keep up in abs class -- I've carried that self-doubt and frustration, but as if it's extra weight. As if it's part of the exercise. There's usually a moment that I want to drop it and walk away. But I don't. I haven't.
I won't proclaim exactly "no more laziness for me" (which I nearly did; I wrote it, then I deleted it), because I will have bad days, I will have days where rest seems like a better option than moving (whether or not that'll be true). But I can say that at least I know I can push past laziness, knock it into the dirt, turn around to trample it with my bike.
What this means to me in the long run is I Don't Exactly Know What. Because I've never pushed far enough to know my true limits, if there are any. I don't know how I react, or how my body reacts, to climbing over a wall.