You are not tired!

For students that attend my Spinning classes or those that personal train with me, this line is very familiar. This is my mantra for exercise “You are not tired!” So what exactly am I talking about?

There is a constant battle of control between your mind and your body. Take a look around you and you will see what I mean.

The practice of Yoga has taken over our world. The concept of connecting the mind and body is what Yoga is all about. If you read the book or saw the movie ‘Eat, Pray, Love” you will remember Julia Roberts sitting in a mosquito infested room, able to push the need to itch at her bites and let her mind take over. Another example is Rocky! In those movies, how can someone who is physically beaten find the inner strength to keep going, punch after punch? Or how can people run a marathon and endure physical pain but push through that pain and get to the finish line? This is because your mind and your body are two different competing powers.

There is a great article that discusses the debate about mind and body being one or two separate entities. My favorite quote from this article is “Typically humans are characterized as having both a mind (nonphysical) and body/brain (physical).  This is known as dualism.  Dualism is the view that the mind and body both exist as separate entities.”

So I believe that your mind and your body are two separate competing forces. In my years of exercising and learning how the shift of power occurs, I know by experience that they are separate.

So how does this affect us and exercise?

Here is an example: You make a commitment to get up early in the morning and start exercising. You aren’t a morning person. You set your alarm for 6:30am, the alarm goes off and you are lying in bed. The following conversation starts to happen in your head “Wow its dark outside. I am tired, I should have never thought I could get up. Maybe I will just work out tonight?” In this situation your body is dictating what is happening with your mind. Your body is sending signals to your mind that you are tired and working out is not an option. To shift the power, use positive self-talk and let your mind take control. “Get up, and let’s go. I want to feel better and exercise will help. Put your shoes on, and let’s get out of this house, I am not tired, I just slept for hours.'” This is where your mind starts to take control.

Another example is what happens during exercise. You may start your exercise routine and then get mid-way through and your body starts sending messages to your mind “This is hard! We have to stop? You are getting tired!” This is where those that are strong mentally separate themselves from those that aren’t. They shift the power to their mind. “No you are not tired, you are using muscles, and breath and its normal to feel this way. Of course I should feel tired, I am working hard. ! But I am NOT exhausted. I am not tired, keep going!” So two things happen at this point: first, if you are REALLY not tired you get a second wind and are able to push through the physical drama you have created. If you are truly physically tired, that feeling of tiredness doesn’t go away. Then you know you have had enough.

With exercise I always advise clients to listen to their bodies. You will know the difference with feeling discomfort that is normal and feeling truly exhausted. Recognizing both will make you mentally stronger. There are plenty of reasons that you could be exhausted: lack of nutrition, dehydration and/or lack of sleep. Get these 3 basic things right then you know they are not factors in your performance.

When you start to build that mental strength, it permeates through your entire life. You will start to make choices and follow through on decisions based on mental strength – not allowing your physical side to make excuses and take over.

So try this exercise: the next time you commit to doing something or maybe you are exercising, shift the power to your mind from your body and notice what happens. Use positive self talk: Yes I can do this, no I am not tired”

If you decide to start working out with me, or attend my classes, you will now understand what I am saying when I am yelling ‘you are not tired’ because 90% of the time you aren’t.

I would love to hear from you. Let me know how it goes.