Tuesday, August 10, 2010

That little voice in your head

*First off, I do plan to do a trip report from my recent (fabulous) backpacking trip. It's going to be a longer post with lots of pictures though, so I'm not getting it done quite yet.

Do you ever have to go to battle with the little voice in your head? I'm not quite sure what spurs that voice on. I think it might be an evolutionary thing. At one point in evolution, it probably was best for us to rest whenever we could and eat whatever we can get. We no longer starve for weeks or have to run from wild beasts though.

This morning, while running, that little voice made an appearance.

The voice is common when I run. It almost always kicks in at about 1.5 - 2 minutes. "Take a break", it says. "Walk for a bit."

The voice almost always makes an early attempt to thwart my exercise routines. Whatever I am doing, it starts telling me to slow down or stop very early on. I find if I push through that initial time period, it will quiet down for a bit.

This was my first run in the last week, since I took a couple days off when I was backpacking. Today I was on week 6, day 2. I had 2 ten minute running intervals. When my running intervals were short, the voice seemed content since I would stop running before too long anyways. Now that my running intervals are longer, the voice makes multiple attempts.

"Just for a minute, take a breather."

"You've probably run for at least 5 minutes. It wouldn't hurt to stop now."

"Nobody will know if you don't do the whole interval."

The thing is though, I didn't need to stop. I was breathing hard and my heart rate was up, but I wasn't exerting myself that much. If I'm honest, I could probably even push myself to run faster. (That's a goal I'm not worried about just yet though; for now, I consider it enough to run.) I could have maintained that pace for significantly longer. So, why does the voice keep telling me to stop?

Perhaps for the same reason the voice tells me to eat that cookie or have a second helping? Perhaps because deep inside I am still afraid of giving something my all and actually succeeding - or not. If I choose to give up, I won't fail because I couldn't do it, after all. I just chose not to. Yet, if I let that little voice win, I don't win. I know that. That little voice might be entwined with me, but it isn't me.

am the one that tells that little voice to shut up. That I can keep running. I will keep running.

This morning I won the battle with the little voice. As I often do, I threw my arms up in the air victoriously when I finished my second running interval. (I'm sure people see and wonder at that gesture on occasion, but I don't care.)

I will continue to win against that little voice. Sometimes I just wish it would shut up though.


  1. Yay for winning against that little voice. I sure have mine too. I think that is a huge part of the battle... to overcome ourselves and our little voices and gain control. Mind over matter. Great job!!


  2. Yeah, I know that voice. All to well....

    Good job beating yours down!

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  4. OK, all I did was click twice, so my original comment doubled up. That's all.