I did it. I finished the Mad Dog Mudder (the wussy 5 km race not the killer 12 mile deal). I had three goals going in; 24 training sessions pre-event, weigh 168 pounds entering, and finish the race. I was 2 for 3. If I could hit a baseball that well I would be in business. I can't help but think that I could have shaved a few seconds humping over those walls if I had made my goal weight. Oh well, next year.
In my last newsletter I delved a bit into change psychology. I mentioned the importance of a plan for our analytical minds, of small changes for our emotional minds and the incredible importance of the environment we place ourselves in for any behavior to change.
Training for the Mudder was a great example of creating an environment that encouraged me to be a fitter, healthier being. When I signed up (or was coerced into signing up) nothing could have motivated me more than knowing that in 2 months time I was going to have to ascend/descend the Gunstock Ski Area two times with a couple of obstacles thrown in for good measure.
I am not an endurance athlete. The thought of hanging out with really fit people for a day is daunting, and that was the catalyst that kept me going over those 24 training sessions. In the end, I had a great experience hanging out with those really fit, upbeat people (who come in all shapes and sizes), I learned a few things training for the event (like when did doing sit-ups get so hard?), and I got in decent shape.
The take home message for me is that if I want to continue to lead a lifestyle that encourages me to be fit and healthy, creating an environment to push me in that direction makes it interesting and accomplishable. If picking out an endurance event or an obstacle course a couple of times a year is going to motivate me to immerse myself in that lifestyle, great, I'll use it as a tool.