Ever wonder why it's so hard? Getting started on things that you HAVE to do. The first five minutes of everything can be dreadfully unpleasant. Yesterday i noticed that it was a trend in my day. Opened up my eyes to an amazingly sun filled and surprisingly clean room...every bit of my being said.. "you know you should get up" but in the half sleepy state of mind that I was in, throwing my cozy comforter off, swinging my legs off the bed..just to walk on over to brush my teeth, wash my face and get ready for work seemed impossible. Seemed daunting and really just unnecessary!
Somewhere I found the will to get up, get dressed, catch my bus and make it to work. *Sigh* it wasn't as bad as I'd imagined it! The air was crisp and the sun was out, which in Seattle, that in itself is worth waking up for....the people were polite. It's Seattle... let's not go crazy and call them friendly :p and the bus ride was remarkably quick...even with that strange person talking to themselves, it wasn't that bad! So getting up and at 'em, why was it so hard? Maybe the daunting task of the days work, maybe the unjust confinement to an office when the sun is out, or maybe some irrational belief that it's impossible to make it through another day?! I think it's the first two...if you're feeling anything close to that last one...you may be depressed!
For me I think it was just I'd rather just skip that whole morning routine and teleport myself to the office and get straight to work, enjoy my day, finish my day and go home proud of myself and the work I have put in. But nooooo....I have to put in the work...to put in the work!?!?!?! This also happens when I run.
I love the feeling of accomplishment I get when I have ran my little lap around greenlake. It used to be hard to go for 5 minutes without stopping and now to be able to just hit the lake and know that I can do it feels aweeesoommmme!! Yet the beginning, the first five minutes, seem eternal, they seem as if I am right back to last summer. I didn't have endurance, I didn't have strength or even really the genuine desire to run for long periods of time. So those five minutes were brutal. It was like saying "GOOD MORNING' to someone waking up on the wrong side of the bed! Legs felt heavy, breathing was off, knees were creeking, even my toes didn't want to cooperate. Shins started stinging....and then....the horrible realization that you drank so much water that you're getting a side ache and you have to stop at one of the greenlake spider-infested bathrooms! AH!!! and if you go to the bathroom...your underwear just don't sit right afterwords...and... is.... that... a wedgie you're feeling??? UGH!!!!
Might as well just walk...or better yet...run...home! Those first five minutes don't work with the seconds we are used to. They go at super duper slow speed. This allows every part of your body to put in a complaint report, allows your mind to get creative and think up of everything ELSE you need to take care of at that very moment in time (other may recognize these thoughts as excuses...and we all know what excuses lead to!) allows you to rationalize giving up before you even really start. Those first five minutes make up the fiber of your character. How well do you do at brushing off those excuses that bog you down? How well do you do at braving the cobwebs that try to frighten you away? How well do you do at picking your wedgie with dignity...you know you aren't the ONLY one EVER to have one...so don't even front!
Imagine the possibilities if you conquered those first five minutes. You work through your issues and just keep going. Next thing you know you are crossing the finish line at your first ever half marathon...heck even crossing the finish line at your first 5k is just as rewarding...because you couldn't have if you had let those first five minutes deter you from being great! Whenever I finish a run I like to tell myself (out loud!) "THAT WAS AWESOME!" so that I will have a very vivid memory of how I felt the last time I ran. I gotta remind myself because I am at risk for forgetting...and then giving up.
When I was little I figured out that things didn't hurt for ever or stay bad for ever....so when I would get hurt I would tell myself. "ok, yasmin, this may hurt right now, but you won't feel this next month or even next week" It got me through a lot of little random things when I was little. But I also learned to start doing it with monumental things. Like, when I moved to Germany as an exchange student as I got on the plane and left my family and all I had ever known, I made a conscious effort to focus on and recognize my feelings...just so that I could compare them to how I would feel at the end of my year abroad. I also did it the first day of school for my masters....took it in...looked around...remembered what I wore what others wore....and at my graduation, recalled that moment. It's a strange little thing I do...but it helps me get through those first five minutes of things that either truly are difficult....or I make believe they are!
I guess, I gotta start finishing my days by saying "THAT WAS AWESOME" so that I start waking up with a very vivid memory of what lies ahead. (i think i will also say 'that was awesome if the day wasn't that great...that way my memory remains a positive one..tricky tricky!) So running ninjas, you'll never stop struggling through those first five minutes. But what you accomplish once you have made it past....is UHHH-MAY-ZEEENG!.