The Voice That Tells You To Finish

My hands are still shaking as I write this post.

One of my personal fitness goals is to finish the original 300 Workout in under 22 minutes which was my best time. This was about 5 years ago. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the 300 workout it’s 50 repetitions of 6 exercises. This is done in as little time as you can. Here’s a sample video.

To give you some context, I lift heavy weights three times per week, run sprints three times per week (one minute workout), and I try to fit in yoga two to three times as well. I’m 44 years old, 190lbs.

Four weeks ago I started with a 150 workout where I cut everything in half and didn’t race against time. I also wanted to make sure I could do all the exercises without injury. It went well although it was a shock to my body. Three weeks ago I tried my first 300 in 5 years and did not want to push it. I completed in under 38 minutes. Continuing the above regimen and throwing a curveball (I became a vegetarian) I managed to finish in under 32 minutes today. The shock has set in. The 300 workout is painful and gruelling, but getting through it, and more importantly the shock right after, is incredibly rewarding.

Simply getting through the workout is as challenging cognitively as it is physically. I dare say especially with my mind.

My brain jumps around like Dug from the movie Up. Have I mentioned I like to paint? I should also mention that I go to the ballet and I have two cats. See? Ok back to the post.

After a year of daily 20 minute meditation sessions this is the calmest my mind has ever been. This was recorded with a Muse headband.

I have to take time to focus before I embark on a challenging workout. I do train with a personal trainer, Greg, who knows me quite well. He knows that I have to get my head in the game before training especially if I’m going for heavier sets. He’ll say something like “I’m not confident you can do all the reps here, but do your best” which of course pisses me off and I have to complete the entire set and sometimes add a few, because F*$# You Greg! Greg is also the reason I had visible abs at 39 years old so I can’t complain although they are buried again now. There have been times I am on the ground dizzy and ready to quit, but something inside tells me to get up and finish. At the most difficult times I seek that voice. Throughout the workout my mind can think about work, friends, things I’ve read, what to write on this post next, and about a dozen other things. This can get very distracting in the middle of 50 box jumps! Inevitably, I bring the focus back. Once I start I resolve to finish every time. I can’t quit. It would weigh on my already scattered mind.

Today’s cool down after the workout was a quick fall into the insanely high mountain of snow on my deck.