Have you ever had one of those moments, perhaps in the early morning, when you have a scheduled training session, and the alarm goes off and every part of you seems to be screaming "Noooo"?
Well, me too. I guess it is part of the journey, but let's take a look at it. Who or what is it that is saying no? I reckon it is not your body.
Have you ever known a dog to not want to go for a walk or a run and romp in the park? Perhaps it's unheard of! Dogs, when given the chance will just go and go. They have an unbridled enthusiasm for activity.
I have a sense that our bodies are not too dissimilar to dogs. Watch little kids. Given the chance to go to a park and play, they will jump at it. They love to run around, jump, climb and be physical. I really believe that physical activity is something the body really likes.
In fact, there is proof. When you do have a workout and get to the end, how does your body feel? This morning, I ran 16km along the magnificent Daytona Beach at low tied and then had a swim in the chilly Atlantic Ocean. For the next 5 or 6 hours afterwards, it felt like my body was purring, saying thank you for the chance to get out and do something. Right now, it is evening and I an sitting on a plane and my body still feels relaxed and at ease.
So when the alarm goes off and there is this cry of No, I don't think it is your body talking. It is your mind. When it happens to me, which is most days, i watch my mind go to work. It doesn't want to have to do anything. If I am awake, it has to go to work and it would rather I stayed asleep.
My mind reels off all sorts of reasons why I should stay in bed. In fact, sometimes it is hilarious. It starts with the weather. Then it goes into how little sleep I have had. From there it reminds me of how much training I have done and why rest days are beneficial. Then it goes into an inventory of any little niggles in my body that could turn into injuries. If that one does not work, it will then tell me a story about how I could take today off and then tomorrow I will be able to have a big session because I will be so fresh.
If none of those work, it starts again at the top. And what is amazing, it keeps going until I am at least 10 minutes into my run. By that point, my body is loving it and my mind is hating it. And what is my spirit doing, that "more subtle" aspect of me that is not my mind, it's basking in the entertainment of the whole show and gently providing the willpower needed to overthrow the sabotaging mind.
My advice to people is always to trick the mind by giving yourself an out. Get out of bed and go to the furthest corner. If that is not far enough away, then go to the next. Then, if your mind still persists, then you can succumb. But I bet you won't.
The other way is to trap the mind by organizing to meet a training buddy who will never let you get away with not turning up. The teasing and taunting are way too humiliating for the old mind to endure. Make sure it is a training buddy who will be quite ruthless with their teasing. And of course, you must do the same for them.
For many of us, our mind is probably our spiritual path. Rising above it and moving beyond its trickery, sabotage and covert undermining is perhaps one of the greatest challenges of life.
So I offer you the invitation to enjoy your mind's little morning tantrums as an entertaining side show. It is not the main stage. Sticking to your decisions and following through on your life goals is the main act.
Think about it, if your mind was not making it hard for you, then it would be all too easy and everyone would be out doing it and there would be no spiritual growth in it.