From time to time I take a step back and wonder why we choose to do what we do? IN a world full of distractions and pressure we have so many choices to make and so many influences pushing and pulling at us. It is a world of peer and societal pressures driving us to do things we want to and things we dont, it is a constant challenge to make certain that we do what is the right thing to do so that we are 'accepted'.
As I ramble my thoughts for the world to see on this blog I may tend to jot down some babble. This days babble is sharing my thoughts on the power of persuasion.
We wake up in the morning and have a brand of coffee and a brand of cereal because we have been persuaded to. We believe that it is healthier, will make us more energetic, make us prettier, make us run faster. Why do we believe this???? Because some magazine, TV commercial or friend had persuaded us via the use of pretty pictures and some propaganda put together to satisfy the media's hunger for sex and drama! We truly believe that we have made the choice consciously, think about it for a second?! What car do you drive, what bike do you pedal, what energy bars do you eat? How much time did you spend studying the equipment that you use? I may be sticking my foot in my bloggin mouth, but I will bet the following.......we use the equipment we do because someone told us it was great, someone famous uses it, the color is pretty, the price was right, the sales person said it was the best because it provides special super powers when you use it for 6 months......we chose it because we were persuaded to use it by an outside influence.
Why the hell am I talking about all of this?? Well, today I realized that choosing to do an IM was about a selfish decision reached for me and by me!! Although I have not done one yet, I think many of you may confirm, it is a selfish activity that is all consuming and, yes, lets be honest, crazy! Let's be honest, who in there right mind would allow themselves to be influenced to go out and swim, bike and run for half to 3/4 of a day for no compensation or recognition, only WE can make that decision! Why did I come up with that realization today??? As I sat on the couch this afternoon(after a Christmas party last night that did involve tequila), I looked at the goals that I has set for training this week. I had a goal of 7 days in a row of running. even though I am not training I am doing selected self prescribed 'base' training activities to build for the day the fun starts. I was comfortable as could be on looking out the window past the Christmas tree at the rain falling on the road. After a week of meeting each step of my goal, as well as 2 days of awesome skiing, I thought, Hmmmm, i have done a lot his week, I am not on a program, I dont need to go and run. And the battle of persuasion started......I sat and watched 2 useless television programs having a fight inside my head about why I should not go run. While watching the 2 useless programs I decided that I should by a new Swifter for the house, look at Cialis if I get erectile disfunction and go and by my wife extra wide wing turbo super mild heavy days Tampax. Why? Because of the persuasive pretty pictures that told me I would be so much better than I am today if I do that!! But, the decision to go or not go for my run was no further ahead than it was before the crap TV and new things that I have to go and buy!
Why?? It came to me this afternoon that when you choose to do an IM or start doing tri's it is a bit of a coming of age! It is a decision to go out and do something for you that can only be influenced by you. Hours and days and weeks of sacrifices for what, sweaty stinky clothes, blisters, bike problems, physio and all the fun stuff that goes along with it. Sure we get more fit along the road, but, be honest, do you really want to work out 15 hours a week to accomplish that?? No, probably like me you decided to do it because you could and damn it is fun!
Finally after fighting with myself and telling myself in 6 different ways why not to, guess what?? I got my ass of the couch, put on my gear and headed out the door, 10 steps down the road I continued the argument with myself, my calves were really tight to I should probably go home.....NO! I made a decision without the persuasion of pretty pictures and promises of better days, I was not sent incentives in the mail that I could get a great deal if I did it today, there were no 2 for 1 discounts to go and do an IM! I did it because I could and because I wanted to! It is such a great realization to come to! I am one amongst a group of 1000's that has chosen to do something because we want to, we are not at the mercy of all of the peer influences and media garbage that fuels the world today. We are doing something because it is what we want to do and because it makes us the person that we are! As I continued on my run I smiled as I ran down the road(yeah, still sore) and thought about the months of training ahead, all the days that I will have the same fight with myself, and as bizarre as it may be, I am looking forward to it!
As we start the holiday season, let's all try and remember why we do the things that we do. Is it to satisfy the pressure and influences that society deems to be the right things to do??? Or......are we doing the things we do because we want to!!! Things that will put smiles on the faces of our families and our friends, things that will make the world a better place and things that will lead us to the finish line of the selfish goal that we persuaded ourselves would be great to do! Happy Holidays!!