Warrior Girl Dashing….T-12 and counting

The Upper Half of a Long Trek Skyward

Lyric of the Day: “If you go hard you gotta get on the floor “ On the Floor, Jennifer Lopez feat. Pit Bull

Today’s Training:  2 miles, hill running

Holy smokes, I did it. It was not pretty, but I did not stop: a 2-mile run, fully half of which was uphill, seriously uphill.   This is a climb I used to run in high school, when I was on the cross-country team in grade 9.  Hasn’t changed much.  Check out the power lines – doesn’t this look like a town in the fifties?

I digress.

My point is the power of thoughts and their impact on how the body feels.  My body, anyway.  Even before I left the house I was thinking I feel nauseated already and I don’t even have my shoes on. And then, in the car, on the drive over to my departure point I have to go pee again? I went twice before I left, how can this be? Oh, I feel sick. This is not going to be….Hey! Wait a minute! I was actually feeling sick.  I wasn’t even doing anything.

I watched the stream of thoughts rush across my consciousness, and then suddenly, I realized what was going on.  What a great opportunity I held in my hands, er, my head. An opportunity to try something different. To think something different. What would happen if, as I was running, I listened to the music on my IPOD from a different place, imagining myself on a dance floor, dancing my head off, free? What would happen if I focussed on that image instead of how my stomach hurt, how hot it is, how much farther I have to go?

This made me smile and that made me feel better. And that is how I started out, smiling. Of course I also ran downhill for fully half a mile. The real test was when I reached the edge of the lake and turned around to start the long trek upward.

I’m like Inception
I play with your brain
I saw myself shimmy, lights flashing, my hands clapping. I passed a dozen hard-hatted construction workers but kept my focus on the music, on the image in my head, my imagined self rocking her hips, hands in the air.

I don’t play no games so don’t-don’t-don’t get it confused no
Cause you will lose yeah

When the image of me grew difficult to hold, I would switch to images of Jennifer Lopez from the On the Floor music video:  confident, strong, beautiful. And dancing like a woman possessed.   Incredibly, this worked pretty well, and the next thing I knew I had scaled the first steep hill and the long slow incline that followed. I was half-way. That is usually when it starts getting hard.

Break a sweat on the floor
Yeah we work on the floor
Don’t stop keep it moving
Put your drinks up…

In my mind, I held my drink up.

And I kept running. Up, up, up, up.  At the summit of the second steep climb, I have to admit that I wanted to stop.  I felt ill. I must have let my head drop, my shoulders curl forward because my upper back had begun to ache. Still, I did not stop. I kept moving, trudging really, but I didn`t stop running. Not until I had reached and passed the place where I had begun.

Let the rhythm change your world on the floor.
It worked. I actually felt okay by the time I was done (okay, yes, there is a long downhill at the end). Now, this isn`t news. We know about the mind`s influence on the body. We`ve all felt it. We know that if we feel sad or angry, that our gut clenches, our shoulders tighten. We know the power of visualization. Well, we know and we don’t.  I had never noticed, never recognized, such a keen experience of anticipatory bodily distress before in my life, never mind that it has no doubt happened to me thousands of times. I have never experimented with how I might control it, or at least interfere in some measure. What an absolute blast that was, granted I got awfully sweaty.  Huh, this is probably a life`s work, no?

I am kind of excited, now, to try it again tomorrow.