Pages

4.11.2013

I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN



Some things are psychological for sure.  Most all things are to some extent. 

When I have to run indoors on the treadmill due to inclimate weather, I have to have the TV on for mental distraction from the sheer monotony of it.  I also do far better and am able to go much further in distance if I cover up the time and distance screen.  Since I run in my basement in only my underpants and running shoes, my shirt comes in handy to drape over the screen.  Running in only those items is an extreme feeling of freedom.  And, since I can't run outdoors in that condition without being arrested or causing people to want to gouge their eyes out, it's yet another psychological boost to do something I don't like - running on a treadmill vs running outside.  My friends giggle at my treadmill attire to say the least.  Mental advantages come in all forms I say!

Chronic illness is obviously very physical.  It alters your life on a daily, sometimes minute by minute basis.  Anyone who has a chronic health issue would tell you the burden of it physically is heavy at times.  The weight though of it psychologically is much greater ultimately than even the physical.  Keeping mentally on top of it, not letting it suck who you are away, stealing joy from the present, or succumbing to fear is harder work some days than the limitations or boundaries that chronic illness brings.


Grief is most definitely very physical.  The loss is not there anymore - the physical part of a relationship is ceased. Even the pain and heartache of loss can manifest itself in physical pain.  But, grief is most definitely far greater psychologically than it is physical.  It seems as if our hearts and minds are a bit like silly putty when you press a newspaper against it - the image stays imprinted and just never leaves us.  Making mental peace with a loss is a tall order.  Finding that place of accepting an enemy (loss and grief) that we did not want becomes a very big and deep mental challenge. 

Physical tasks are extremely mental.  You wouldn't think so, but our head controls so much of how we respond, our staying power, and ultimately whether our ability to conquer wins. Just ask athletes, extremers of all sorts.  Getting your game on is far more mental than physical.

Sometimes the job before us is big, beyond maybe what we think we can do physically.  Deciding years ago to take a wall down by myself between my kitchen and dining room, I checked out whether it was a load bearing wall.  I had to break this overwhelming and really bigger task than I had experience, knowledge or even strength for down mentally.  

SNL years ago had a character called Stuart Smalley, played by now Senator Al Franken.  He had a great deal of emotional baggage from a very dysfunctional family upbringing and touted self-talk as the way to psychologically deal with hard stuff.  Though very tongue-in-cheek and satirical, Stuart was right.  His sketch on SNL, and later a book entitled,   I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough, and Doggone It, People Like Me!: Daily Affirmations With Stuart Smalley, was both hysterically funny and somewhat accurate though dramatically presented.



Now before you think I am advocating some sort of New Ageish mumbo jumbo, calm down!  What I am saying is that we hold within us the power of our thoughts and mind to propel us to completing the overwhelming, facing down challenges, and motivating ourselves through the I don't wanna dos.  We hold the power in our minds to be able to do more than we think we are capable of and scale walls that seem unscalable.

Endurance is far more mental than it is physical.  Far more.

No comments:

Post a Comment