Exercise is 80% Mental and 40% Physical

Friday, April 27 2018 5:05 PM
By Genesis Genesis

My music is what keeps me running. It pushes me to keep going and distracts me from what my body is actually doing. You see, I believe that exercise is 80% mental and 40% physical, don’t think about it too much and you can get through it. So during my runs, I have my phone clenched in my fist like it is my lifeline, and music blaring through my headphones. Sometimes I like to do small, hopefully subtle, dance moves as I run. I often times lip sync, and pray to God I’m not actually singing. I’d like to think the people who are typically at the gym when I am are used to my kooky behavior by now. Whatever.

My music is a crucial part of my run. Avril Lavigne makes me feel a little badass, Barns Courtney has a beat I just can’t ignore, and Murphy Lee’s “Shake Ya Tailfeather” will really distract me from what I’m doing. It’s quite the eclectic playlist. So you can only imagine my distress when I arrived at the gym, ready to do my 42-minute run around the track, when I found out my brand-new phone does NOT come with a headphone plug-in. I couldn’t have my music. My heart sank. I had no choice. I had to go raw with only my breathing, pain and fatigue to focus on. New plan, do a 20-minute run instead, totally doable right? Well, 5 minutes into it, I felt like I was dying. All I could think about was how much weight I was putting on my feet and how clunky each step felt. I would look at the time, wondering how much I had left, EVERY SINGLE MINUTE. I was completely bored! I missed my cheerleaders screaming though my headphones. I only lasted 7 minutes. Short as that run was, it still counted! All 7 minutes!

As much as I wish I could say it was just the absence of music that was culpable to the brief run, it was the week after the holidays and it was my first run of the year. My siblings came to visit the week before. Need I say more?

I’m not going to crucify myself for missing a week of running during the holidays. This is, after all, reality. I am not perfect and will have shortcomings. I accept that. However, I refused to make this couch-friendly, dessert-filled week a habit. I refused to start 2018 the same way I started every other year of my life. Instead, I came back to the gym. Was I sore? Incredibly. Did it take getting used to? Little bit. Was all the consistent work I did the past 3 months all flushed down the toilet? Um, no! It was only 7 days, and I came back. A year ago, I wouldn’t have hit the gym till March “for the New Year” and I would have just stretched for 15 minutes and called it a day. Then I would have rewarded myself by not returning to the gym for the rest of the month. Look at where I am now! The mental and emotional hurdles that I overcame to be back in the game. Good for me! Today, I know I’m coming back in two days and getting back to my routine. And next time, I’ll remember to bring the headphone adapter.

-Inny Salgado

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