Monday, August 2, 2010

Change Your Music, Trick Your Mind!

 This morning on Skype I had a great conversation with my new friend and fellow #temt member, Kelly Power. We were talking about ways we manage to keep ourselves going when running and both noted that it is our minds that are often the biggest barriers to continuing! I was encouraged by Kelly to share this story.

A few days ago, I set out for a run that began a bit differently than most of my other runs. Not only was I a bit nervous about presenting at the Reform Symposium later that day, I also felt overwhelmed by  my mile long to-do list.  Just the day before we had confirmed that we would be moving in the next few weeks!  I had decided to combine running an errand with my real running ; it seemed like a great win-win proposition. One of my personal goals is always to think of ways I can avoid jumping in the car.

I set off listening to the song, "Say", by John Mayer. Something in that song was calling out to me about saying what's on your mind. After it was over, my mind wanted more so I hit repeat and kept on running. Previously, I always began my runs with fast-paced music, thinking my body would need the boost to get moving. Interestingly, the slower tempo allowed my body to decide the rate it preferred and I did not seem to get tired at all! When I reached hills that previously seemed daunting, I ran up without slowing down. Something was definitely happening!

As I ran back home after dropping off my note to our property management office, I decided to mix up the order of my music a bit. As I neared home, I put on a fast tempo song that normally plays at the beginning of my run. I said to myself," Pretend you are just beginning the run," and as I repeated that thought ( in my head, don't worry!) the music took me away and honestly, though I had already been running steadily for 40 minutes, a feat for me, I did not want to stop!  I ran for another 10 minutes, but probably could have done much more as my mind was in a new place, an invigorated excited one where any distance seemed possible. I had to go home when the hour was up as I was presenting at the Reform Symposium later that afternoon!

Perhaps this was a long-winded way of saying,"Experiment for yourself!" See what you can do to trick your mind into going a bit longer or doing something just a tad more challenging.  Try it!

I am sure you have lots of ways that you keep yourself going longer and harder so I hope you take a moment and share here :-) Thanks again for all you do to inspire me to get moving every day. I am loving the energy and collaboration of #temt!


  1. That's great! My mind often is the barrier I have to overcome too. Changing things up every once in a while is what helps me too. For me, it's a change in the workout. (I'm not really into running - hehe) This reminds me of the whole "muscle confusion" that is one of buzzes in the video exercise world where you change your routine before your body gets used to what you're doing.

    Seem like we could all do well to confuse our minds too!

  2. Joan,
    once again your words created so many connections for me. You are right. I have learned this week that running is such a mental sport. Every time I felt that I maybe needed to stop, I focussed on my music and told myself "You feel the exact same way you did a kilometre ago, just keep going!" And like you, I started listening to different music, to keep my pace more steady. Switching it up a little is great to play a trick on our own brains sometimes.
    Thanks for the inspirational thoughts once again.

  3. Thanks so much Elizabeth and Kelly! I just tricked myself by listening to an interesting podcast while on my elliptical :-) Before I knew it, my feet were aching a bit and I looked at the timer to see I had gone 46 minutes, was dripping with sweat and was still going strong.
    I am loving the supportive #temt tweets and comments here on the blog. Thanks again.

  4. was just thinking about this topic today - Like you Joan I love listening to podcast (repeats of Satellite Sisters is my fav at the moment - those ladies make me laugh do hard I almost forget I am exercising ) then the last 10 minutes I like to listen to music - 80's rock is my fav (especially Bon Jovi <3 him.......)
    Thanks for sharing tips!

  5. Sarah,
    Great idea to listen to something funny! Laughing makes us forget how hard we are working. I remember when I used to work out with a friend at the gym and getting glares from people as we laughed our whole time chatting on the ellipticals. The time always flew by. Now my faves are TED talks and music as well as other podcasts. Thanks for chiming in!