Friday, January 10, 2014

Head Games

Now if you are going to win any battle you have to do one thing.
You have to make the mind run the body. 
Never let the body tell the mind what to do. 
The body will always give up. 
It is always tired in the morning, noon and night.
The body is never tired if the mind is not tired. 
-General George S. Patton, U.S. Army 
1912 Olympian

Whether Gorgeous George was right I know not.  I do know that my mind and my body have both embraced my commitment to running every day.  I have elevated it to the status of daily discipline.  Monday through Friday I descend the steps to the basement at 2:45 A.M. for a brisk jaunt on the treadmill.  Some mornings - yesterday for instance - when I have not enjoyed an especially restful night's sleep it is hard to muster the enthusiasm to get out of bed when the alarm clock bellows.  But then that initial response abates and I allow my mind to run the show.  By 3:30 A.M. I am in the kitchen making coffee and getting ready to shower and head off to work.  

As someone with historically balky knees I thought running every morning would prove too much for my occasionally cantankerous joints to handle.  So far, so good.  With the exception of three days in mid-December - the 16th through the 18th - when I was focusing my efforts on fighting off what could have morphed into a fairly nasty cold, I have run at least three miles a day each and every day since Thanksgiving morning.  And it really, really has been good for me.  Physically I feel fine.  Mentally, I feel even better.  

My goal is to run every day through at least April 27.  This year the New Jersey Marathon is being held on April's final Sunday as opposed to May's first one.  And even though every time I take part in a marathon I tell myself I am never going to do it again, once again this year I did what lots of other people do when I talk - I ignored me.  Whether I wake up on the 28th of April glad I did or regretting it remains to be seen.  

Me?  I am betting on it being the former and not the latter.  Only time will tell.  Neither talk nor bullshit carries your body for 26.2 miles.  This year, for the first time I am at peace with the plan I have put into action to not only once again complete the distance but to have the best experience I have ever had while doing it. 

Mind over matter baby.  Mind over matter.  


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