What a Difference Five Minutes Makes

I was particularly happy to post these results this weekend after absolutely dragging myself out the door on Saturday!   All I wanted to do was revel in the late afternoon satisfaction of a freshly cleaned apartment, the completion of a nagging chore (painting the cover of an electrical panel above our dining table), and a farmer’s market – stocked fridge.  How did I get my butt moving, and with darkness fast approaching to boot?

Mainly, I assessed the few days prior.  I’d driven up to Cape Cod for a family visit… which means I’d spent no less than ten of the last 48 hours in the car.  In spite of my best intentions – running shoes and chilly weather gear packed – the trip turned out to be all visiting and no running, or any workout for that matter.  I did get to enjoy two refreshing long walks, trying out a new camera lens in the process.  Here’s a highlight –

Chatham Cut, Cape Cod

The trip yielded quality family time and the opportunity to rest and reflect, and I was not at all disappointed that I didn’t reach for my gear.  But I decided that I did have to earn these precious hours, if in reverse.

Riding to the gym, I began to congratulate myself a bit, then hesitated.  I thought about the concept we’ve encountered so many times – just get yourself to the gym/starting line and get going, and if you *still* don’t feel like it, you can go home.  There have been days when I’ve celebrated that motto, and of course realized that it’s born out of a common condition – getting there truly can be the most significant part of the challenge.  To that end though, I decided I did not give up a rare pocket of weekend down time to give anything but 110%.  The plan: 55 minutes on the bike, pushing the pace and resistance, followed by the ups trinity. (That’s sit, push, pull.)

That being said, by the time I was approaching 50 minutes I was visualizing a hot shower, a beer, some cheese and crackers.  So far the full steam ahead approach was paying off, with Watts and RPM’s clocking above average, and I started to tell myself I’d done enough.  I even got ready to document the results at 50 minutes.  But!  Again I thought about the effort-to-start vs results ratio.  At that moment, the only thing that might have felt worse than five more minutes of spinning was knowing I’d just spent the greater effort not finding out if I could in fact improve upon the results below.

iPhone 5

I thought about the words of one of my favorite spin instructors – ‘don’t even think about it, just do it’.   I love this motto.  I tacked on a few gears, put my head down (figuratively), and repeated over and over that five little minutes are just five little minutes.  When I finally stopped pedaling to get my averages it was of course worth it – I snapped up a new PR!

A recurring thought crossed my mind as I grinned and texted Paul my latest results… While numbers feed the need for instant gratification, I was also glad I’d stuck with it since many times the gains from workouts come at the tail end, when we most want to quit.  Our muscles (hearts included) develop more stamina, and mentally, this is where we knock down walls.   Hiieee-YA!


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