When the going gets tough

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The tough eat chocolate? Or something along those lines. In one part of my life, the excrement has truly hit the hydro-electric powered oscillating air current distribution device. At the moment, I’m not sleeping all that well, so getting my head off the pillow in the morning is a struggle, never mind getting up before work to exercise. Sorry Jillian, I love you and everything but I love sleep more. Add to that my still aching legs from a workout on Saturday and it’s curtains to normal walking. In case you think I’m a wuss, here was the workout, for time:
Traffic light run (about 400m)
50 Russian kettlebell swings (shoulder height, controlled)
100 squats (deep – like sitting on ball)
20 box jumps
75 squats
20 box jumps
50 squats
20 box jumps
25 squats
20 box jumps
50 KB swings
Traffic light run

My legs were like jelly afterwards, and even though I gave them a good stretch with the foam roller, they have been stiffening up since. A box jump is a simple exercise in mental torture: just jumping with both feet at the same time onto a 20 inch box, approximately the size of a cushion. How hard can that be? If you’re a scaredy cat like me, much harder than you think. It took me nearly 18 months to manage this, solely through the fear of falling off, or smashing my shins. It’s the two feet together thing; skip stepping is easy. Some of the people at the gym can jump on higher boxes, or big boxes with more height stacked on top, which is an impressive sight. This skill will be needed at the Spartan race, where one obstacle involves jumping over fire; something I have dreamed about. No-one wants their legs to catch fire.

Despite the pains, I felt temporarily great after the exercise. This is something I know; doing exercise makes you feel good and gives you a genuine high. And yet…at the times when I REALLY need something to make me feel better, I can’t be bothered. This is one of life’s paradoxes. Take food. If you feel crap, the truth is that putting something healthy into your body does make you feel better. We know this, especially after a lifetime of eating too much sugary shit. But instead, something like this is more likely to happen:

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Followed by the inevitable comedown and self-loathing. Why do we do it? Bad habits? Or just because it feels good and is an easy fix? We are a want it, have it now generation. And chocolate beats kale hands down in the yum factor, let’s be honest.

I follow a few wellbeing and mindfulness sites on Facebook, which are full of great advice on how to be a contented human, with numerous pictures of zen-like creatures meditating on the beach. Recognise this annoying type of image?

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Why are they always on the fecking beach? Don’t they know I live at least 30 miles from the sea and it’s fecking Baltic out there? Can you imagine trying to find your inner goddess wearing a bikini at Troon in February? Nope, neither can I.

Just one fucking time, I would like to see an article on meditation that admits the truth: it’s bloody hard and you need to learn to do it, just like advanced origami or crochet. When it comes to meditation, I am typically more of this school:

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But as I get older and gradually grow up, I realise that this way is not sustainable. This is the way of liver damage and early death; not a path I want to go down. I have seen it first-hand. So, with a weary resignation, I realise I must learn better ways to beat stress. Exercise is one way, and ideally I would like to go the boxing gym down the road some evenings and beat the crap out of a punch bag. This may be the opposite of zen-like calm, but we are all different and I find punching (not real people!) strangely soothing. Alas, until I cure my dodgy shoulder properly, this is not a good option.

So meditation it is. I am unlikely to find an article entitled ‘ meditation and mindfulness for impatient people who would rather be punching’, so I must find my own way. There are a couple of possibilities – that amidst the chaos, I will discover something wonderful that will make a switch in my mind; like this quotation that I liked:

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This is highly possible, as I am older, a little bit wiser, and have a resolute belief that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. There are always more experiences to be had, and things to learn about yourself and others.

Or I will search the internet and find a meditation practice that doesn’t include whale noises or irritating wind chimes, and after much trying, find it works. Perhaps I need to give in and accept the whale noises, who knows. I always wonder if there are some of us who are just not suited to that kind of thing; maybe our brains are wired differently. Or am I just giving up because it’s too hard and it’s much easier to reach for that glass of wine?

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Aargh!  I will keep trying. And in the meantime, when it all gets too much I will put on my red lipstick, some loud, raucous music and dance like a demon. After all, there are different types of therapy.

Until next time,


One Comment

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  1. love love love the quote and this entry.and…couldn’t resist your google wish http://dailyburn.com/life/lifestyle/how-to-meditate-for-beginners/


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