We all make strange choices from time to time.
Last night, I made the decision to stay up until 1 AM and sleep until 9 AM this morning because the night belongs to parents of young children. (Mr. Springsteen, who are these lovers of which you speak?)
I continually make the decision to give greater weight in my biological heritage to my mother’s, Irish, side of the family and slightly less to my father’s Germanic Dutch roots. Because Irish is sexy, baby.
At some point between the first entry in this series and now, I made the decision to tryout training for the Spartan race on my own instead of joining a class.
Now, we all know that there are essentially two kinds of choices: those we make with our minds, and those we make with our bodies. The ones we make with our minds are often a combination of what we think society wants us to do, what we grew up thinking we should do, and what we really want to be able to do. The ones we make with our bodies are what we really want to do.
For a second.
The choices we make with our bodies aren’t necessarily good or bad for us; they’re just often quite short-sighted. They don’t include the knowledge that we feel better when we drink juice in the morning and go for a long walk rather than when we sit hunched over our laptops eating coconut covered donuts. They don’t include how guilty we feel when we choose to ignore a phone call from a friend in order to keep playing Civilization. Or when we sit down to write and end up playing twelve rounds of Klondike Solitaire while obsessively checking Facebook for new notifications.
These are all hypothetical, folks.
The body’s choices aren’t always wrong, though, and the mind’s choices aren’t always right. Some of our body’s decisions are based on what we’re actually able to do. And sometimes our minds tell our bodies to do things in ways that don’t make sense, so the body rebels while the mind judges.
My Mind made the decision that it would be easier and less humiliating to train on my own and skip taking a class, then ignore invites for fitness partners, etc. My Mind confidently explained to the rest of me, “You’re kind of a quivering mass of nothingness at the moment with poor breath control and let’s keep that to ourselves until we’ve whipped you into shape, shall we?” Ignoring My Mind’s choice to employ verbal abuse as a legitimate reasoning tool, My Mind is choosing to ignore 20+ years of empirical data all pointing in one direction: I have never, not once, not ever, stuck with any form of exercise for a consistent period of time if left to my own devices.
In other words, no matter what plans My Mind has made for the quivering, huffing and puffing body that is Me, Me has never just joyfully gone along for the ride. This could have something to do with the tone My Mind takes with Me, but I’ve talked Myself blue in the face trying to get those two to some counseling (My Mind always says, We can do this on our own, thanks. Kindly butt out and go back to whatever it is you’re always doing and solitaire?). My Mind knows this, and refuses to change. Oh, it brings up some compelling reasons: money, time, humiliation. But I know better.
You see, with anything other than exercise or body training, My Mind often turns to classes or workshops immediately. There have been countless times that My Mind has convinced Me to sign up for something just to stay motivated or regain interest in something.
So, if My Mind is willing to sign up for classes in areas in which I’m already competent, if My Mind knows that I have always needed help in the area of personal fitness, if My Mind knows how important all this is to Me, Myself, and I, why is it dragging My Feet on this?
I thought I had My Mind beat on this by incorporating Parkour into this blog. I thought My Mind would have no choice but to drag Me to classes and take fitness buddies up on their kind offers. Alas, Amanda is a pretty stubborn and tricksy corporal entity. Apparently, she does what she wants even if it isn’t what she really wants.
So, now what? What does this mean for all of the other conflicted corporal entities out there? Group counseling? Maybe, if you can get your selves together long enough to make it work. I suggest spending some quality time with your selves and identifying the core issue(s). I talked to My Mind and Me and unanimously, the problem was identified as being one of not starting in the right place. We feel overwhelmed and embarrassed that we’re not where we want to be. I need to sit down with a non-judgmental someone and make a real plan. Like-gulp-a personal trainer or something.
My Mind wants everyone to know that it finds this idea appalling, reeking of privilege and weakness, and everything 2000. It would prefer something far more Rocky-eqsue. It’s willing to substitute sides of frozen tofu for the meat.
I’m overriding My Mind on this one, because frozen tofu scares me, and because I think a personal trainer just might work. I’ll let you know how it goes, but I can feel the motivation seeping back in already. Don’t tell Me, or she’ll head straight for the Tasty Bakery.