Learn to be good with discomfort

After two days driving to work, this morning’s bike commute seemed . . . annoying somehow.

Why should I expend all this energy pushing pedals when I could just hop in the car and be there in half the time?

It’s deviously attractive to take the easy way out.

But the easy way does not lead to amazing things.

I once read a study that showed that runners are viewed more positively at work as compared to their non-running colleagues.

I wonder if that positive association is actually correlated with grit – the ability to tough it out and get things done, to accomplish a goal in spite of adversity.

A friend on social media shared an article this morning that I started thinking about while some other part of my brain was whining about how difficult it was to *groan* bike uphill *moan* against the wind.

It was a Lifehacker article – “How to Decide What to Do with Your Life.” A great read for recent grads (or others facing the blank canvas of a new beginning).

There was a section that gave a lot of ammunition to the rational part of my brain that was fighting the whiny part.

Learn to Be Good with Discomfort

One of the most important skills you can develop is being okay with some discomfort. The best things in life are often hard, and if you shy away from difficulty and discomfort, you’ll miss out. You’ll live a life of safety.

Learning is hard. Building something great is hard. Writing a book is hard. A marriage is hard. Running an ultra-marathon is hard. All are amazing.

If you get good at being accustomed to a little discomfort, you can do anything. You can start a business, which you couldn’t if you’re afraid of discomfort, because starting a business is hard and uncomfortable.

How do you get good at this? Do things now that are uncomfortable and hard, on purpose. But start with small doses. Try exercising for a little bit, even if it’s hard, but just start with a few minutes of it, and increase a minute every few days or so. Try writing a blog or meditating every day. When you find yourself avoiding discomfort, push yourself just a little bit more (within limits of reason and safety of course).

Great advice for life, and a good pep talk for starting or getting back into running. Also appropriate for Juneathon. Writing something every day is hard, too.

Copyright 2014 by Katie Bradshaw

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DAILY AMBULATION (dance walking)

This evening found me in a foul, low mood.

A hundred niggling things at work. A saddle sore. A wonky ankle. Mosquito bites on my legs.

“Screw it,” I thought to myself. “I’m not doing anything for Juneathon today! I’m going to sit on the couch and pout and drink a beer.”

Black IPA - perfect for when you can't decide between a stout and a pale ale.

Black IPA – perfect for when you can’t decide between a stout and a pale ale, or for when you’re pouting.

And I did!

And I read some Juneathon blogs.

One of them got to me.

DAILY AMBULATION. Take it seriously.

It’s true. I sit all day at work. Health stats show that kind of inactivity is really, really bad.

But no biking today – saddle sore. No running, either, with that ankle. With the mosquitoes out, I don’t want to walk, either.

For some reason (maybe the beer), the perfect answer popped into my head – DANCE WALKING!

dance walk guru master

(If you have not seen the dance walking bit before, go here.)

So, I popped a 70s-80s disco mix “tape” (actually a CD) into the player and dance walked around my living room until I was dripping sweat and my cats were staring at me like I’d gone completely mad.

At risk of embarrassing myself, my playlist:

  1. Blondie – Heart of Glass
  2. Wild Cherry – Play that Funky Music
  3. Gloria Gaynor – I will Survive
  4. Donna Summer – Hot Stuff
  5. Ohio Players – Love Rollercoaster
  6. Rick James – Superfreak (Thinking about Little Miss Sunshine here.)
  7. And, the dance walk anthem: Peaches & Herb – Shake Your Groove Thing

I feel much better now. And my ankle behaved.

Thank you, Nameless Dance Walk Guru Master (AKA Joe).

And thank you for the ambulation reminder, Cynthia. I hope your mom heals quickly.

Copyright 2014 by Katie Bradshaw

Bike, run (ow!), swim?

Today was a gorgeous day to be out exercising.

BIKE

The temps started out around 45 when I cycled off to work this morning and maxed out at 72 on the ride home.

The ride home seemed . . . easy. I still had plenty of energy when I got home.

RUN

“I feel like going for a run,” I heard myself say.

“OK,” said Bugman.

We headed out, and about a mile from home – OW! (Except I didn’t say “ow”.)

My gol-durned ankle spiked with pain. Left side. Somewhere under the lateral malleolus.

It’s the same pain that stopped me from running last year – that I needed a chiropractor’s help to get past. It’s the same pain that stopped me from running earlier this year, and that now has me hobbling across the room.

No swelling. No bruising. No tender spots. Just pain when I move.

SWIM

I decided to drown my sorrows in the bath, with a glass of wine.

A photo of the bath after my swim, with the empty wine glass still in the holder thingy.

A photo of the bath after my “swim,” with the empty wine glass still in the holder thingy.

Although my ankle still hurts, I do feel a bit more relaxed.

Running and hot baths have similar effects on me – they both open up the circulation and help me wind down.

No more running for me for awhile.

For the bulk of Juneathon, I really need to focus on that cross training to strengthen my oft-injured, weaker left side.

Copyright 2014 by Katie Bradshaw