Sunday, April 12, 2009

excuse-a-holics anonomous

Hello, my name is [The Slowest Triathlete], and I'm an excuse-a-holic. I have suffered from severe motivation deprivation now for, well....a solid week. But to be honest, I have struggled with the disease on and off since I hobbled to the finish line of my first triathlon.

But I have now hit rock bottom.

It started with the typical Monday off....which led to a Tuesday off, both under the guise of "working late." Then Wednesday rolled around and along came an offer to go out to dinner with someone who flew ALL THE WAY FROM THE COAST to be in town. How could I say "no"?

Then, Thursday. Thursday was clearly the top of the very slippery slope I'd been traversing. Thursday is normally my running group night. A running group I hadn't been to in two weeks now due to other commitments (like tickets to a sold out movie at opening night of the WI Film Festival....great excuse if I've ever heard one). So late in the day Thursday there is an email from a friend who works conveniently close to my office....."wanna get a drink?"

Is this a trick question? I've been in meetings for the past two days straight. Of course I want a drink. I NEED a drink. (I needed a run too, but happy hour sounded like a lot more fun.)

And so, on Thursday, I went to the bar after work -- with running shoes in my purse. I'm pretty sure its ALMOST like working out. And a certain drinking buddy -- who shall remain nameless -- also missed her indoor soccer game later that night, so I wasn't the only one choosing a beer buzz over an exercise-induced endorphin high. I think this is the peer-pressure stuff your parents always warned you about in High School....sorry mom and dad....though I'm not certain which one of us was actually the bad influence. I'm guessing we were both a bit at fault.

And then this weekend, well the wheels just completely came off. I was supposed to bike 45 miles on Saturday. But I had accidentally left my phone (and alarm clock) on "one beep" instead of a ringer, which led to a painfully late and frantic wake-up. I probably could have still made the ride. But it would have been a mad-dash to pull it together, and I would have had crap pre-ride nutrition. And quite frankly I woke up in a bit of a fog and just didn't feel much like gittin' 'er done. So I went back to bed promising to work out on my own later.

The thing about promises to yourself....if you don't keep them, no one has to know. So there's a dangerous lack of accountability. I try to be hard on myself, but for some reason it still doesn't force me to come through. I beat myself up about a broken "promise" for about as long as it takes me to come up with rational excuses for breaking that promise. And as soon as I can somewhat justify the decision to break the "promise" (not usually too hard to do, I'm quite clever), I'm over it.

This weekend all I wanted to do....was ORGANIZE. I just wanted my life in order and this seemed like a perfectly rational excuse for not exercising. I could have worked out. I could have made time. But I was on an organizing mission and I didn't want to break my stride. This may have something to do with another little deal I was making with myself about getting enough checked off the life "to do" list to be able to take off for Colorado Thursday night. (that deal is still pending though so I'm not sure that qualifies as an actual excuse yet)

The funny thing is, I get a lot of stuff done when I'm supposed to be training. I can't justify missing workouts for doing nothing, making my excuses pretty darn productive. So I haven't decided yet whether these excuses are all bad. But good or bad....they're very effectively keeping me from the workouts lately. And long term, that probably won't be a good thing.

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