Thursday, November 21, 2013

Talk, Don't Listen

This morning, from around 8:30 until around 11:30, I ran 16 miles.  By myself.  In beautiful, cold, sunny Central Park.  And it was awesome.

My longest training run before today was 12, and my longest run ever was 13.1 with the help of race day adrenaline, crowds, and either my sister or my husband, to cheer me on, distract me, and make it seem almost easy.

Needless to say, I am incredibly proud and incredibly excited that I not only did it, but I genuinely enjoyed it.  I was able to make my last mile my fastest, which I still can't believe, and I had a good balance of running with only the thoughts in my head, with my beloved Gomers, and briefly with my lovely husband on the phone.  I'm particularly proud of the miles I ran without anything at all in my earphones, particularly when I paused my podcast because I just needed to be in my own head and talk myself through.  I needed to be more present with myself.

Both my memory and Google have failed me in getting the source of my inspiration for today's blog, sadly.  The title of it comes from a segment I saw on the Today Show last week or a couple weeks ago where a guy was promoting his book - I can't even remember what it's about, but some kind of better living inspirational tips.  Those are a dime a dozen these days, especially when you're a yoga teacher and a runner and inundated with bazillions of links a day to numbered lists of how to live better/healthier/more inspired.

The one thing he said that really stuck out to me and that I've really taken to heart though, was:  "Don't listen to yourself - talk to yourself."

At first that seems just wrong to me - as a yoga teacher, I'm constantly telling my students to listen to their bodies before they listen to me.  It's important to follow our own intuition, to heed the signals our bodies give us, and to listen to our hearts.

However, we all know how easy it is to fall prey to that other set of voices which tell us to quit, or which give us permission to indulge in something we had vowed not to.  The little voice that can have so much power over us - the little devil on our shoulder.

The quote to me is all about the unbelievable power of positive self talk.  That phrase sounds cheesy, but it is one of the most important tools we have in our toolbox when it comes to any kind of positive action in our lives.

Runners always say that running is mostly mental.  Life coaches (and the like) always opine on the power of positive thinking - we even have a yoga game by that name at Karma Kids!

There are few things more awesome than experiencing it for yourself first hand.  Whether it's running a stupidly long distance or making a choice as to how you're going to mentally approach your day, try it - don't listen to the negative or lazy voices in your head.  Talk to yourself instead and see what happens.

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