I try to run at least four days in a week. Running has become a routine. On those days when motivation is high, the mind is swamped with feeling of going out and enjoying the run. But this is not the case on a daily basis, but only on some days. On other days, I still find myself not feeling like running.
It seems like a difficult struggle between two parts of my mind: One part not wanting to go for the run, and another part not wanting to break the discipline. And the struggle is interesting. The part which does not want me to go out for a run, tries to cook up several excuses in my mind: I am not feeling well, the weather is not conducive, running shoes have worn out, etcetera. It is also a master at recruiting help and support from my body. It influences my calf or knee to be sore. It influences my shoulder and back muscles to ache. And they send signals of pain and injury back to my mind to support the cause of not running. This is like a complete coordinated attack on me, by a part of my mind with support from my body to win over their cause of not going for the run. And when such attack starts, the strength of the antagonists is very high. If given a chance, they also conspire with the weather and my surrounding environment to make me believe that they are right; that I should not go out for the run. It does not leave me with any other option, other than not running.
Then, there is the protagonist, that part of my mind that does not want to break the discipline. It wants to go for the run because it knows that it is the right thing for me to do. But it is not very strong at that time. The motivation to go for the run is low. And the antagonists look for exactly such time to raise their pitch.
But the part of the mind that is the protagonist has a few tools to help its cause. It talks to me directly. It gives me options. It tell me to start small. It tells me that I can quit anytime, but why quit even before starting? It prods me to wear my running shoes and get out of the door. And even if I don’t feel like running the entire distance planned, maybe I can come back home after a short run. If my body pains and does not permit me to run even the short distance, maybe I will just walk instead of the run. And once I put on my shoes and I go out, it tells me to start running and focus only on the next small landmark like just one lap around the block. It tells me that I have option to complete the one lap and then stop, or if after doing that one lap, I still feel like running, I can take the decision to continue running. So, basically, it tells me to postpone my decision making. And if I am not able to run at all, at least walk for the single lap and then take the decision to stop if required. And I thus start running and postpone my decision on whether to stop running till I complete one lap. But by the time I complete the lap, the momentum comes from within. The chorus of the antagonists subsides. The antagonists hide behind some nook and corner of my mind and fail to raise their head. My body starts supporting the protagonists and I start enjoying my run.
It is just the little push, one step after another which helps me overcome this daily battle between my two ears.