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When 45 minutes is too far! A tactic for achieving your goals

January 29, 2021

Well I finally setup my bike on the indoor trainer. I brought it in after two years hanging in the carport. Knocked off the layers of dirt that settled on the frame and handlebars. I was surprised to find the ring for the front wheel so the bike frame would be on the level. The special rear wheel with the axle for the trainer accepted and held air. I found my bike shorts. Good, they are lycra and stretchable. My bike top seems to have shrunk, as it doesn’t extend below my stomach.

NOTE: this is why I was setting up my bike.

The first session was awkward. Setting the resistance, adjusting the sound on the TV, deciding if I should put my phone in the pockets on the back of the shirt or out of reach on a chair. I forgot the riding gloves for cushion on my palms. By the middle of the half hour session I felt in rhythm. I got another reminder, my knees hitting my stomach, why I am doing this. This is not the point of the story. It’s not about the weight loss….weight redistribution objective.

This story occurs during my third session six days later. My muscles are still a little sore at the beginning and the rhythm returns earlier in the ride. My thoughts move to its time to ride longer. Moving from 30 minutes to 45 minutes. My butt didn’t like the idea and my arms weren’t that thrilled as both were still not fully comfortable with this new position they were being asked to accommodate. Mentally I noticed a shift from being all gung-ho about increasing the duration and now the questions are climbing in volume and intensity about this maybe is too long. The attorney for my legs is positioning the argument “Its only been the third session, no need to push it at your age. No triathlons in your future, 30 should be just fine.”

This attorney’s voice, providing logic for which the jury of my mind is ready to accept, will surface with most changes. The content of the argument will match the circumstance. In this case it was projecting the inevitable fatigue and the discomfort. If I were changing jobs, it would focus on the fears I have about my abilities and asking if I am really ready to make the change. The attorney in us is awakened to maintain the status quo, the normal, the familiar. In my case it is defending my continuing to sit at my desk for 9 to 10 hours. What I have been doing for over five weeks. My mind’s attorney reminding me of how proud I felt being able to bound up the steps without gasping for air. Therefore, why do I think it necessary to up the ante on the physical activity?

Focus your mind to achieve your goal

My strategy is to have my attorney voice focus on something manageable. Mention the 45 minutes and my mind brings back the pain I will feel in my butt. It wants to know why I would want to endure that, how can I endure that? Why would I want to? Again, the attorney knows we haven’t been working out regularly. Reminds us we aren’t as young as we were once. We really don’t need to do this now. We all have these attorneys. Skilled debaters who know their audience. So the objective is then to have our minds/attorney focus on what we can do. What won’t be as uncomfortable. Even suggest we don’t have to do it all. Let’s see how far we can go.

My strategy is to turn my attention to what I can do. Maybe, let’s work on the first 10 minutes? Find my rhythm for this segment. Check in on my legs. Notice the pressure on the pedals. Is it consistent the whole way around? Oops I am pressing too much on the down. There we go, my feet are moving in circles again. Move my hands into different positions on the handlebars. Relax the elbows. Confirm the front wheel is in line with the frame. Consider the setting of the chain. Should I raise or drop a gear? Maybe next time add more resistance. It’s not long when I notice, 10 minutes have passed. That’s good. That worked well. But that’s not enough, cause I still have 35 minutes to go. Oh no….

Time to refocus, set a new target another five minutes? No ten makes sense, nah I am going for 15. That will take me over halfway. Settle back in to the ride, the cadence, the position, breathing, water, and sweating. Wiping my forehead and ears to keep my glasses on. I have settled into the ride. 25 minutes have elapsed with 20 to go. Now what remains is less than I have done in a session. I am over halfway home! My history and experience tell me, I can always finish the second half. It’s the first half that’s a killer.

I still break it down into sections because my arms are aching, my butt has not adjusted to the seat or the seat to my butt…..

The point is any time I focus solely on the end point at the beginning, I think about all that has to be done and it’s not long until I feel exhausted. This is a signal to me to break it down. Find the consumable amount. What will my mind let me do? My mind takes on the role of protector for my body. If my mind is anxious my body will tense and soon, I will run out of energy. However, if I approach any goal in manageable chunks, then I am fooling my mind, distracting it from the ultimate goal.

This strategy is a tactic. Tactics can be applied in many different conditions and situations. The tactic is to break the endeavor into smaller manageable sections that we know we can handle. Keep the focus on the section you are in. Occasionally notice the objective and your progress toward achieving the objective. But return your focus to the section you are on. In this way you are moving forward and able to sustain the momentum and make corrections that ultimately support your success.

This is one of the tactics needed when pursuing building a life that you love.