Embracing Less Than

I’ve learned a little something that seems to get me through a run with a touch more of a spring in my step. A bit of a jedi mind trick, if you will.

I used to trudge along, doing my best to not fixate on the clock but the second I did I was simultaneously shocked at how little time had passed and dismayed that OH MY GOD I HAVE 7 MORE MINUTES OF THIS?!?!?

Now I am well aware that the fascination with checking the time/distance is an instinct that is likely to remain to the end of time with anyone who sets their running shoe clad feet on a treadmill. However, I have figured out what to tell myself when I find my eyes wandering from the muted hosts of Sports Centre down to the little digital readout that screams at me in glowing green.

I no longer look at the time and think awwww man 7 more minutes of this pure and absolute torture. Nope. I now look at the screen and tell myself “Less than 7 minutes to go!”

Somehow looking at it as though there is less than X left to go makes completing said minutes so much easier than fixating on how many (or how few) minutes have passed and how many are still to be dealt with.

Calling it “less than” in some way makes the number seem smaller, makes the minutes you have already logged seem greater, makes the remaining effort seem more palatable.

It also pumps your tires a little to think you have already done 23 minutes and oh looky here, less than 7 to go! When you view it as still 7 minutes to go, or even saying only 7 minutes to go, it diminishes what you have already accomplished, as though yeah yeah, you ran 23 already but dude, you’re going nowhere for the next 7. Now move it!

I know, I know, its all in the mind. But sometimes, the mind knows just what to do to power you through that last leg without making you want to give up.

You’ll finish stronger when you change your mind to a positive view of the end result.

More vs less than?

Always choose less than.

afe6506f071aa389fc3f84a6391a155f

Positive mindset brings success!

 

How do you get yourself motivated to finish strong? Do you use the “x more to go” method or have you tried something different? Do you think the less-than-x style of thinking can help? Do tell!

Move It

Recently I had convinced myself that there was no reason to wake up early in the morning for any kind of exercise because I could just as easily do it after work. This is what I told, nay, PROMISED myself. Except “after work” very quickly became make supper time, and watch Coronation Street time (yes), and hang out with McK time and make lunches time and oh lookie here, now its bed time.

So after some double checking, and triple checking, and making darn sure it just wasn’t possible to work out after work (this level of solid research took weeks, I tell you) I realized that if I was going to fit it in, it would have to be in the wee early hours of the day. Just me and the birds.

My friend Carly posted some solid advice over on her own fitness-focused blog regarding early morning wake-ups and a way in which you can make them less painful.

I was skeptical.

I figured if I am going to get up to do it, then dagnabbit I would just get up, get dressed and DO IT. No fuss, no muss, just do the damn exercise and be done.

But this new way, it makes sense. So I tried it.

I still lay my clothes out in the bathroom the night prior, that step (for me) cannot be eliminated. If they aren’t there, then neither am I. This I know.

But now, when the alarm goes off, I do not have to rush. I do not have to houdini myself into a sports bra while trying not to dislocate a shoulder. I do not have to swap socks on feet because I can’t see the L from the R (yes, my socks are labeled). I do not have to sigh as I fill my water bottle and trudge downstairs to listen to Sports Centre on mute and run to their smiling faces.

Now, I dress, go downstairs, turn on both the kettle and my computer, and have coffee while I catch up on what I missed because we all hit the sack so early.

When my half hour is up, I go downstairs and do whatever exercise I have decided I want to do that day. Post workout I relax, tidy up, and plan the rest of the day. Being able to ensure that you are on track with your day and even take a few minutes to check your calendar are precious moments to a planner such as myself.

Sleep? That’s also precious.

Feeling good and healthy and organized? Even more so.

iphone 437

Go get it!

 

How do you manage to fit it all in? Quality family time with quality health time? Feel free to comment and share your tips to finding the right time that works with your schedule!

Blue Light Special

I watched a documentary some time back about how the hues of light that come out of different things affect the brain in different ways. For example, TVs, computer monitors, cell phones, iPads etc all exude light in shades of blue. These shades of blue trigger the brain to wake up, be awake and stay awake (think flourescent lights in a factory for night shift). Alternately, shades of red such as campfires, are shades that trigger the brain to remember that it is time to sleep.

The rule of thumb is to actually refrain from viewing your tablet or phone for at least one hour before bed. Now, for me at least, this is a tough one as it is in that final hour that I actually stop doing things, crawl into bed, allow myself to relax and look forward to seeing what I missed on Twitter, Instagram etc.

I figure so long as I don’t “slide to unlock” if and when I DO wake up in the night, then I should be OK. The documentary scared me enough to never touch my phone or flip on the TV if I am having trouble sleeping. Knowing it will have the opposite effect, I refrain.

Losing it before bed though? That’s been tougher.

In an effort to reduce tech-time and reclaim an easy drop off to Slumberland, I believe it is high time I venture back on out to the bookstore.

I used to read voraciously but with the influx of all-things-at-the-touch-of-a-button, I have not made the time lately. I plan to change that now.

I admit I often DO judge a book by its cover, though the blurb inside the dust cover must prove itself intriguing enough to capture the sale.

While technology has made a multitude of everyday things more available, there is sometimes nothing more simple, nothing that gives more joy, than curling up with a hot cup of coffee and losing yourself in a good book.

 

In the one pic above I have pulled four of my favourite books. They were all full of adventure and escape and far away places, the three key elements to hold my interest.

What are some of your favourite books? Do you have any that you have read more than once? Comment up near the top, maybe your favourite book will be the next one on my list!

 

Quotable

I read a quote the other day that made me think.

It rung so true that I really sat with it for awhile.

And it dawned on me that the truth it spoke applies to many things, not least this blog, this work of the heart if you will.

One never truly knows when something of this nature is “ready”. Should I hit post now? Should I tell people it exists? Should I just bite the biscuit and launch it into the big wide world full of not-always-pleasant opinions?

When you have something that is special, something you have worked hard on and is both important and valuable to you, there is real fear in opening it up to the eyes of others. The fear that they will think your thoughts and words are ridiculous. Or boring. Or unnecessary.

But then you slowly start to realize that you love your thoughts and your words and while you certainly hope to reach people, to entertain people, or even allow your words to make a difference in the lives of those who choose to read them, you claim no responsibility for those who are disinterested.

You write for yourself. You write to engage. You write to reach the people who need to hear your words and learn from your stories. That is what blogging is to me. And if you waited for that perfect time to hit post, that perfect time to tell people your blog exists, or that perfect time to launch it…you never would.

Read these words and these stories. Love them. Hate them. Be challenged by them. Learn from them. Pass them on. Share them. Talk about them. Think about them.

They are, after all, just words.

And if you find you don’t like the words, by all means, carry on about your way and keep searching for words that ring true to what you are seeking.

I’ll still be over here, pecking away at the keyboard, telling stories, sharing lessons, knowing that perhaps they are not perfect but they are mine.

147

Down Set

Football. Not something typically addressed on many blogs managed by women that don’t appear to have a sports related theme to them. But if you are to know me at all, then you must know of my undying love for football.

I support two teams emphatically, win or lose, good game or bad game, embarrassment or victorious. My love for these two teams stems back a few years, not as many as some of the other fine women I know, but long enough to know both joy and heartbreak at the highest and lowest range of the spectrum.

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have, of late, been nothing to write home about. High hopes abound at the start of every season only to be dashed by injuries of key performers or poor execution by the team as a whole. This year feels different. It feels like there is a chance. We have invested in some pretty great players who look to bring us back to a level of greatness long since forgotten.

The New Orleans Saints went from being the team that brought New Orleans hope in the rebuild after Katrina and a Superbowl title a couple of years later, to the team with the worst of pretty much everything last year, save for their quarterback who still managed to rake in records in more categories than the teams season record would have you believe. And yet, as with every year, the assumption of being playoff bound still remains.

So how does being a diehard football fan translate into making a life less complicated?

Well, its simple.

Joy.

I get great joy out of watching a solid game of competitive and close-scoring football. My mum once asked me what I love about it so much and my answer was simple. While it appears to be a somewhat Neanderthal-ish endeavor (throw ball, catch ball, don’t get hit), there is so much more to it than that.

Take just the quarterback for example…you must know the routes and locations of every person on the field for each and every play of which there are copious amounts, you must anticipate what every player lined up across from you will do upon the snap of the pigskin, you must have eyes ahead of you, eyes downfield, eyes in the back of your head, and you must be able to change on the fly and do something completely different than what you just told your entire team you were going to do if that door closes and leaves you scrambling for a new door.

It’s a science. And it’s awesome.

So for those of you who also experience the heart attacks in the pressure moments, the “don’t talk to me for awhile” mood in the losing moments, and the IN YOUR FACE joys of the winning moments, I have posted the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 2016 schedule below for you to enjoy. I’ll post the Saints schedule when it comes out.

It won’t help you organize your life or reduce your clutter or simplify your closet, but you’ll find yourself rooting for the underdog, feeling pride in your city and giving the nod to the guy in line at the grocery store who is wearing the same team gear on any given Sunday.

Joy. Get after it.

1382142_3539715908729_1590950861_n

My focused face…with a dash of concern. Watching my Bombers play.

 

Who do you root for? What makes your heart pound in your chest? Got a favourite team that you will defend to the end? Share in the comments at the top of the post and let the trash talk commence! (Kidding, be nice)

To download and print your own copy of the 2016 Blue Bomber Schedule so you too can cheer your heart out, click here -> 2016 Schedule!