When You Identify the Real Excuse Holding You Back

by Emily Jasper on October 15, 2009

4:45…the waterfall noise is replaced by beeping. Oh joy.

5:15…I have to give myself a pep talk to get into the water.

7:00…wishing I had an IV for coffee.

Yup, I’m talking about 4:45 AM. As in really dark and cold in the morning AM.

I’ve been doing the 5:15 wake-up-to-work-out routine for a while now. Wasn’t really that big of a deal for me, I’m a morning person and there were always ellipitcals open at the gym. Until one day!

My knees aren’t that great. After years of dance injuries, soccer injuries, rowing strain, and general unhappiness, they don’t like changes in the routine. So after 30 minutes on a new machine, my knees decided to protest. I could barely make it up and down stairs, but didn’t want to be “that girl” who took the elevator one floor.

So the chiropractor fixed me up but recommended swimming for a while. Did I mention that we had snow here this week?

Mentally, I can’t deal with “pool” and “snow” in the same sentence. Yes, we are talking about an indoor pool, but still. Can you imagine it?

Because of all the fun with chlorine and extra time getting ready for work (plus I wanted to get to the pool early enough to have a lane to myself), I’ve been getting up 30 minutes earlier. And you know what I discovered?

I feel the same when I wake up at 4:45 as I do at 5:15. AND at 6:15, 7:30, 9:00, and so on.

When I started the first 5:15 routine, I couldn’t get over the “how early” this was part. But now that the bigger issue isn’t the time, but more the pool-snow combo, I realized I feel the same way no matter what time I wake up. Even if I sleep in, I rarely ever feel bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Now that I realize my issue is with something I can’t control, I’ve modified everything else around it. I go to bed a bit earlier (that’s why there’s a DVR), have everything pre-packed, watch the weather the night before, and have my car/gear ready for the winter. Since I know that waking up isn’t my problem, I’ve been going strong.

And swimming while it snows outside is actually really neat. Call me a dork, but I got a warm fuzzy feeling of pride for hitting the pool while it snowed outside.

My generation has been called over-aggressive and lazy in the same breath. To some, there should never be anything holding us back. To others, we let everything get in our way and give up. I learned that you need to really identify which challenges or obstacles are in your control, and which ones aren’t. You’ll find that you’re more equipped (mentally, physically, spiritually) to handle what you can change when you let go of the burden of things that you can’t.

The views expressed in my blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.

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