It's About Everything

I had another interesting revelation the other day as I was climbing some stairs at the gym. They have this nifty machine that is like a small escalator moving in the "down" direction, about three stairs long, that you set to a certain pace and climb. This is great if you are getting ready to do some hiking and need to build up endurance for gaining altitude on a trail.

I started with a 20 minute set, that was about all I could stand. Then I covered up the clock and pushed it to 25 minutes without hardly noticing. Then I started making a playlist that was a little over 25 minutes, so I would know where I was by what song I was listening to. The other day I shuffled that playlist and the way the songs happened to arrange themselves made the 25 minutes end far before I thought it was going to. The longest songs of that list of songs probably played first, so the last song (which probably was the shortest song) only got into the first chorus. I was just telling myself I had at least another verse and chorus before the time was up (because I don't look at the clock), but the stairs went into the "cool down" phase after the time has elapsed. It surprised me so much that I was no longer fatigued. I mean, I was fatigued, but not as much as I thought I was. I set the stairs for another ten minutes, quickly picked out another playlist, and kept going. Only for another 5 minutes, but still...

I'm finding out that I don't know when I'm really fatigued. Clearly I have the ability to play mind games with myself to push myself further. What I am experiencing as fatigue is made worse by things that have nothing to do with my legs or my lungs. The things that hurt me most are only in my head. Like looking at the clock. How far could I make it if I could only focus on the things that strengthen me, and forget all the things that weaken me? How strong am I, really? What are my limitations? Obviously I'm capable of more then I thought I was, how else would I be able to easily trick myself into climbing more stairs then I thought I could climb, simply by covering up the clock.

This applies to more then just stairs or hiking or running. It's about everything.

It's about everything.