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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Evil Monkey In My Brain!

I went to Tai Chi tonight with dragging footsteps.  I just did not want to go.  But I did (because it's already paid for!) and it was the start of a new session, so the only familiar person besides my instructor was one woman who continued from my first group.  The rest were all women from a different class.  At first, I thought, oh shit.  These women will be pros.  I quickly discovered they were as clueless as me, so we spent the class going over and over a few moves until we could "get it".  I feel better about my inability to master the Tai Chi moves, since pretty much everyone else is in the same boat.  Jake, our instructor, urges us to practice at home, and specifically to go home after the class and practice right away.  One woman said, "I  go out for dinner, and drink half a bottle of wine after class.  I'm not going home to practice!" 

 I'm pretty sure she just comes to class for fun.  

Drumroll, please.....I went to the Y after class and ran 2 miles.  Yes, I certainly did.  Maybe it's knowing I don't have to work tomorrow, but I thought at work today, I should just go down tonight and get in a workout.  Then I can sleep in a bit tomorrow.  All through Tai Chi it's all I thought of, and then near the end, when that woman made the crack about wine, I thought "Hell yeah, that's what I want to do --go home and have a glass of wine.  Forget the gym."  Then Jake said something that made me stop and think.  Someone in class commented on our lack of Tai Chi groove, and he said, "That's the bad monkey in your head giving you reasons to stop.  Don't listen to it!"  or something like that.  He did mention a monkey in our heads.  It was not up my ass--I know that much.  

Anyway, it got me thinking that yes, I do have at least one evil monkey in my head.  Sometimes, it splits in two and comes at me with double barrels.  I'll call my evil monkey F**k Face, or FF for short.  I have to call him something nasty, or it won't do anything for me to picture an evil monkey in my head.  FF was swinging around my frontal lobe, telling me to just drive home.  I could drive down the street towards my house and instead of continuing past my street and going downtown, just turn right and go home.  It would be ok.  I would work out tomorrow.  

FF:  "What are you lookin' at?"

FF was ignored.  I can't believe I ignored him.  It helped that I was on a 4 lane road and on the inside lane, so even if I wanted to turn right onto my street, I would have succeeded in crushing my truck and paying a horrible insurance bill.  It was much easier to go with the flow of traffic and continue downtown.  

My run was not spectacular--only 2 miles.  But, I got a great parking spot, and only 3 treadmills were busy.  I decided quickly that trying to just run faster and watching the distance go slooooowly by, that I would cover that part up with my towel, and instead look at the time and have myself run 2-3 minutes at a time.  If I could cover that, then I could take a quick walk break.  I started at 6.0, went down to 5.8, then went up to 6.2 at the end.  I did take walk breaks, but this time I shortened them, and told myself I couldn't get upset about it.  Baby steps.  

I've started reading a book called Running Within by Jerry Lynch and Warren Scott.  It's about the mind-body connection in running.   It's the first book since I was in college that I've taken a highlighter to so I can mark passages that contain pearls of wisdom.  I'll keep you updated with what I find out from this book, and how I use some of the techniques to get over my perplexing anxiety about running.  Here's the cover:

I'm actually quite glad I have the visual of FF the evil monkey in my head.  It's a great tool to keep negative trash talk out of my noggin, and for every banana I eat, I can hear FF shrieking in his monkey rage.  He he :)


  1. Loved this post for so many reasons! You make me laugh with your monkey FF! :) This is great! Good for you for ignoring little the little effer. :)
    Oh, and this book is one of my all time favorite running books. ONly problem is that I loaned it to someone years ago and I never saw it again. I had this baby marked up all over the place and it was what I read before my first marathon! Such a good book. I must get it again!!! I'm putting this book on my wish list! Thanks for reminding me...I've also seen a few other bloggers write about it. I don't even remember it but I know it is good!

    Have a great great day Sue! :)

  2. Running 2 miles isn't spectacular? If I can jog 1 mile I'm in shock! I say you're doing great!

  3. Amanda: I'm glad someone else has read that book and liked it. I've only read a few chapters, and I've already learned a couple of important things, so I'm pretty convinced it will help my mental game.

    Hannah, thank you! I'm going to the gym again after work today to try and run another 2-3 miles.

    Have a great weekend both of you :)

  4. the book sounds exciting - can't wait to read more about it!


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