Yesterday I wrote about a revelation I had regarding mental stress and the need for it in my training plan. I mulled the subject over for the rest of the day and jotted down several likely sources I could implement. Today was a bike day and as I settled in to an hour of seated climbs and standing sprints I looked down and realized that the tension knob on the spin bike was a true definition of the word “stressor”. It’s perfect, a few clicks to the right and I’m in big gears struggling to maintain a certain RPM. A few clicks to the left and life is easy again. Responding to my brain’s cries for a break by twisting the knob to the right or simply just not giving in to the desire to turn the knob to the left added a layer of mental stress to the workout. Exactly what I was looking for (you can find my Instagram post about it here).
I left the gym and began running errands. As I turned for home just now I found myself contemplating said Instagram post (still learning the sequence of cross-posting so, officially I haven’t put either of these posts up yet) and what other sources of mental stress I have readily available to me–yes I am that focused on succeeding at this 100K run. A small mea culpa here, I’m about to discuss the stress of my personal life and I fear I may offend anyone who reads this by unintentionally sounding like I am under more stress than anyone else. Not true, everyone’s life carries stress, we all know that. I only mean the following to be an exploration into common stressors in my life that, by challenging myself to overcome, may benefit me and my family.
First and foremost, my son is Autistic. The stress this adds to our family is intense and pervasive. He is a lovely child with a bright personality, but his language struggles and whatever it is that interrupts his thought processes makes him seem unruly or defiant at times. Having one child on the Autism spectrum (and a Mama’s Boy) and another child who is neurotypical (and a major Daddy’s Girl) has created a divide in our house. My wife and I are constantly doing separate activities with the kids and we are drifting apart slowly.
If I focus on my own reactions to these stressors…I think the end result is a more resilient mind but a softer heart. That would be a bigger success than just running 62 miles in a row.