Sunday, November 8, 2009

Digging the hole...

My Saturday hilly runs are turning into my deep thought days... :) :)

The subjects of discourse (with myself) this Saturday covered:

1. What my coach means when I am "training to train" right now, and
2. How useful or beneficial the mind truly is in relation to the body.

I like to play devil's advocate in my head on these runs -- with myself and the world at large. I find it mentally refreshing to argue against something that everyone takes for granted...

For example -- this whole business of staying present and repeating mantras to help one focus on the present. It just doesn't do it for me. Now before anyone gets their hackles up (or their panties in a knot, LOL!) please refer to the latter --- It doesn't do it FOR ME.

I have much greater success at staying in the moment so-to-speak when I turn my mind completely off. No thoughts, no emotions, nothing. Just the sounds of my body working, breathing. No static, no struggling with my mind, just silence.

Which naturally led me to question the often assumed *fact* that our minds control our bodies. What if the opposite is true? What if it is the body that has all the answers and the mind just gets in the way and rationalizes and then takes credit?

I've never had any success with the whole "The Secret" thing -- to me it was too, ummmm contrived. Something felt missing. As I was flipping channels on the boob tube one night I came across a PBS special with Dr. Wayne Dyer. He said that he has a different take on "The Secret." That you don't attract what you want, you attract what you are. BEAUTIFUL! Now that is something that rang true within me.

Back to my rambling -- Every time I have had a deep intuitive sense about something and it has been right (instincts are always right -- unless they are clouded by the mind) , it has been my BODY telling my MIND that danger was near/something was going to happen/etc.

I have always thought that animals are superior in intellgence to humans. Yeah, yeah, yeah so a dog can't work at a manufacturing plant and type a blog on the computer or drill for oil. The intelligence I am referring to is the kind that we humans like to easily dismiss because we don't understand it. The sort of intelligence that allows teeny little birds to *know* when and where to migrate and dogs to sniff out an individual cancer cell...

We humans like to lump examples like these under the umbrella term of "instinct." As if somehow that was a rudimentary form of intelligence -- something base, primordial, inferior.

While I'm at it, why is it assumed that we are the only creatures aware of oursleves. How does anyone REALLY know? It's like no one really knows what happens when we die...

OK -- so that was one of the discussions I had with myself. LOL!

The second topic dealt with my coach's explanation of my training plan... This was exciting stuff! Sara explained that now I am at the first step -- that I am literally training to train. Training my body to be able to handle REAL training.

In my mind I visualize myself digging a deep, deep hole. For a well. I see myself every day digging a little deeper, making the hole round and true. The next step will be lining the well with rocks -- every day I will be able to nestle another smooth rock into the walls of my well.

In time, my well will be complete and I will finally have access to the sweet water lying at the bottom of my well. There will be times when I can throw a bucket down there and haul up the water I need. But, most importantly, there will be times when I will have the ability to go down into the depths of my well and climb back out of it.

I am learning that no matter how hard I *thought* Ironman was, no matter how hard I *thought* I pushed myself; I see that there is a whole other realm of pushing myself. Of depths waiting to be discovered and tested. (This realization came one afternoon as I lay drooling on the couch, yet I wasn't even sleeping. I am not joking.)

I don't talk about how "hard" or "easy" a workout is now. Because (again, for ME) the words "hard" and "easy" automatically have emotional meaning attached to them. Besides which, my subjective interpretation of a workout is just that --- subjective. And apt to change. I don't want to limit my growth by assigning limits in the forms of words (and emotional connections).

I am also learning that the fitter I get the deeper I can push myself and the harder a workout becomes. It's hard to explain. I really did feel like I was giving it all I had before I met Sara, but the fact is, I wasn't. You know that commercial where a Mom is telling her baby she's going to eat a french fry and the baby hits her in the forehead - that V8 commercial? I feel like I get bopped in the head all the time! LOL!!!


Keith said...

Anybody that has any doubts about (some) animals being more intelligent than (some) humans need only look at cats. Who else can send their humans out to earn kitty crunchies, serve them regularly, and give them scritches and pets into the bargain. Cats are certainly self aware, and some dogs are as well. Dolphins, and elephants too. Not sure what else, though maybe octopus, they're pretty smart.

You attract what you are. hmmmm.

If what I'm doing is only getting ready for REAL training, I'm never going to live through it.

There's a lot going on in our brains that we don't know about. It can be connected to the body and accomplish far more than we think. Or, it can just get in the way trying to be 'smart'.

Cath said...

Some great thinking there my dear! You just keeping doing what's right for you, for your individual good self, you'll know what that is....:)

BTW - let's skip getting together this week - I went swimming this morning, scheduled to a 4.5k swim set, at 2k was absolutely knackered, back killing me so for the first time ever, cut short a set - got home and slept on the coach for FIVE hours! I think I may have some kind of bug, so don't want to pass it on to you in any shape or form!


Julie said...

Cath -- you are such a sweetheart. :) Smart girl for cutting your workout short and going home to bed. I am very proud of you -- mind you, out of the two of us, you are by far the most sensible. :) :)

Glad you slept solidly for that length of time! With your attentiveness to your body's signals, any bug will be squashed in no time. :)

Amber Dawn said...

Love that commercial. Love this post. Love you too! :)

Jenna said...

Great Post. Sometimes I get frightened when it is long run day - thank God the long runs these days are only 90 minutes cause my mind wanders into the deepest, darkest of caverns and there is some serious shit going on in my head and below the surface. I always thing that it is the stuff that I can not yet explain that I need to be most aware of. I totally believe in intuition and it was my body that signaled my mind that something terrible was going to happen to the point where my mind could NOT ignore it because my body's reactions were over the top. Sometimes we need to stop talking and LISTEN with something other than our ears.

Kelly B. said...

This is why I run by myself and prefer to bike by thinking head gets full and then one by one I can get the issues dealt with. Although I am pretty sure I have not pushed myself as far as I could...something to consider someday!!!

Runner Leana said...

Wow, great post Julie! You are definitely working on the mental aspect of training...something I really need to improve on. Too often I let my brain tell me that I can't, or that I should slow down and walk. Too often! I need to move past the boundaries and not focus on hard or easy as well!

Julie said...

Leana -- I'm continually amazed at how much NOISE there is in my brain. I've even gotten in the habit of telling it to STFU lately. ;)