When everything is going well, I feel like I have great physical endurance. I’m not fast but I can keep moving for a very long time. However, when it comes to mental endurance, I’m not so great.
Case in point: I found out on Tuesday that I can’t test for my next tae kwon do belt this Friday (the same day that Little Runner is testing) due to not meeting the minimum class attendance for the belt. I was pretty disappointed and told LR that I wasn’t even going to bother going to the later evening class, as I had already planned, because I still wouldn’t be able to test and I was tired and I just didn’t feel like it. He looked at me and said “Is that really a good attitude to have? You should still go to class and improve yourself even if you can’t test when you wanted to.” Of course he was right. So, I went to class and was glad that I did.
I was thinking about that incident this morning while I was
trying not to drown swimming descending intervals (1×400, 2×200, 4×100, 8×50). I was not hitting my times – at all. I was being lapped left and right. It hurt. I wanted to stop. A couple of times I was seriously ready to climb out and call it quits. But, I thought somewhere in the middle of one of the 100s, how will I improve? If I don’t push when it’s hard, especially when it’s hard, then how can I expect to make it through a long race? So, even though I wasn’t hitting my times and I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish the entire workout, I kept plugging along. I pushed when I could. I tried to keep my effort strong and even. I didn’t let the negative voice in my head distract me. I got as much done as I could. In the end, I completed all but 3 of the 50s. And I’m okay with that.
Training, and life, is hard! You have to have the mental endurance to keep going, even if you know that you will not meet your desired goal. Yes, you may fall short this time, and maybe the next time, and possibly the time after that, but one day you will achieve your goal and that can never happen if you walk away from it.