But I got up, got dressed, and headed to the gym, regardless. About halfway there, traffic on the interstate was stopped. Not slow - stopped. I gave it 10 minutes, then decided to risk a cop seeing me, and drove in reverse on the shoulder to the previous exit. I headed home citation-free, to get ready for work.
The thing is, I'm not kicking myself today like I normally do when I miss a workout. I mean, it would have done my body better to actually have exercised, but I think it did my mind better that I actually made it out of bed early, and tried to get there. I'll consider it a win. I think it shows me that the real challenge I face in getting in shape is not physical. It reminds me of a recent post over on the "things worth believing in" blog. I'll quote some of my favorite bits below, but I recommend you read the whole article.
I’ve always believed that the real benefit of exercise is in the persons mental development rather than the physical results.
Intense exercise, the type that makes your internal dialogue start telling you “this sucks, I cant go on anymore, just slow down, just stop, just quit”…but you don’t…that type of exercise sows seeds that you will reap later when you are fighting for your life and are approaching exhaustion. When your opponent is approaching that same threshold the person who quits is going to loose and reaching that quitting point almost always originates from the mind.
The body and the mind are a unit and the mental/physical benefits of training cannot be separated and measured.
Push yourself. REALLY push yourself on occasion. I don’t mean just get sweaty or breathing hard. I mean a “I cant do one more rep, lungs burning, gonna die, mommy I wanna quit” push. You don’t have to do it every workout, but if you are coasting you are cheating yourself. Its not only your body that will benefit, it builds mental toughness that translates directly to fighting.