Sunday, March 27, 2011

It's not about discipline

I ran into a friend at the pool last night. She was leaving the family swim while I arrived for lane swim. She commented on how disciplined I am with my training.

I get comments like this fairly often. I live in a town, so it's not uncommon for me to run into friends while out for a run, at the pool or on those occasions where I think I can quickly pop into the grocery store while all sweaty after a run. (Hint: if you live in a small town, you'll always run into someone you know if you go to the grocery store without showering.) I also am very public about the existence of my blog, so most people that know me know that I am pretty "dedicated".

Here's the thing though: It has nothing to do with discipline. It's not about dedication or determination. It's about making a simple decision and following through with it.

It's easy for me. I had one of those "aha moments". I reached a point where my obesity and sedentary lifestyle were seriously affecting the quality of my life. So returning to a sedentary lifestyle simply isn't an option. I am a different person then I was a year and a half ago. I am a better person. I like myself more; I am happier; I am healthier.

It's about losing the "if" mentality and adopting the "when" mentality. I'm not going to claim I'm perfect. In fact, just today, I wimped out on my run because I didn't feel like dealing with the temperature and the "freezing drizzle". When I make decisions like this, I always consider the "when". If I can't workout right now, when will I? If I'm skipping a run, when will I make it up? If I feel like death for a week because I'm sick (which was the case recently), when am I going to be able to get back at it?

It's like brushing your teeth. Nobody needs to tell you that it's a good idea. If something gets in the way of your routine and you don't brush them at your usual time, it's not a question of "if" you'll brush them later. It's "when" you'll get to. You know that you are going to do it again and get back to it.

That is where my mindset comes from when it comes to my workout and training. It is one of those things that needs to be a part of my life. I do it because I need to, because I want to, and because it's part of who I am.


  1. Well said! Once regular exercise is part of your lifestyle, it becomes as normal as getting dressed in the morning - it's just something you do every day.

    That being said, the few times that I have missed more than one workout (like if I've been sick), I have found that it becomes really tempting to skip a few more...and I have to be pretty stern with myself to get back at it.

    Good luck with the half in a few weeks!

  2. Great post! I love the idea of when, not if and the fact that fitness is now just a lifestyle for you. Great to hear your story.

  3. love that its part of who you are