I got home from the gym a little late last night - not a big deal but my wife asked why I was late. I told her that I had only planned on swimming 5 sets of pyramid sprints (a set is 5 laps where the 1st lap is really easy, the 2nd is moderate speed and the 3rd is an all-out sprint, 4th is moderate and 5th is easy). Repeat 5 times. At least, that was the plan. After 5 sets however, I felt really good.
So I made a choice. I kept going. 6 sets. 7 sets. Until I was fully spent after 10 sets (2500 yards or 1.4 miles).
This morning as I was exiting the garage to go on my ride, the cool 40 degree blast hit my face. I stood there shivering, questioning my resolve and number of layers I was wearing.
So I made a choice. I turned on the lights (all 4 of them) on my bike, clipped in and took off.
I'm a firm believer that the choices we make during our day, during our week and during our lives are the very thing that molds us, defines us and makes us stronger.
It is very easy to crumble in the face of adversity - choosing the easy way out is always less confrontational. You can never know your limits if you don't challenge yourself. I have to admit that I'm a fan of the Biggest Loser - not just for the draw of reality television but for the core theme that permeates almost everything they do in challenges and physical activities....re-training the mind is just as important as re-training the body.
Removing mental barriers is one of the key elements of knowing that you CAN - that you're worthy of doing something positive - something that makes you grow as an individual. These incremental changes are the positive reinforcements that allow us to take on bigger and bigger challenges in our lives - athletic, financial or personal. Being in control of your choices is a powerful thing no matter what you apply it to.
So choose to try. Choose to do something you don't think you can.
Yes, it might be scary. Yes, you'll wonder if you can get through it. But I'm positive that the next time you try that same thing (or even something different), it won't take you nearly as long to make the right choice....and you'll be glad you did.