Dizzy and seeing stars, I gasped for air, gulping it down, causing my stomach to churn, ebbing on nausea. I regained the slightest bit of composure, watched the timer count the last second of the interval and hopped back on to the speedily-rolling belt of the treadmill, grasping for any last bit of motivation I could to complete the high intensity interval training run I had set out to accomplish. With ten seconds left of my final uphill sprint, I wondered if I could finish. I contemplated cutting the last stretch short… “It’s only ten seconds less than what you had wanted to do. What’s the difference?”
Fueled by anger towards the fact that a voice of such negativity and dishonor even existed within me, I dashed out the last ten seconds and pushed myself to sprint another ten. I wasn’t punishing myself for toying with the idea of cheating myself out of my workout- a negative cannot and should not be corrected by another negative. Instead, the added sixth of a minute, although barely conquered with teeth ground shut, served to prove that my limits were not as limiting as I had thought.
Harder this time, I sucked in as much air as my lungs would allow, aware that I was “that person” in the gym with the audible working-out soundtrack blasting “Erika’s Inhale-Exhale” on repeat. Hidden in the pained wince of my face was also a subtle smile from the pride i felt for getting through it all.
As I dismounted from the treadmill, I felt a buzzing energy in my legsthat I could easily have mistaken for/settled to call fatigue. My aim was to push my abilities to high levels and my wobbly legs were proof that I had met that. Much like the positive pain I referred to in a previous post, the soreness in the muscles of my legs was welcomed and earned. To the uninvited negativity that nearly made me quit before I was ready to, I vow to raise my personal bar even higher, yet, partially as a mockery of the nay-saying voice… try and stop me now.