- some days I think I'll never ride my bike again.
- there are moments when my knee aches so much I think I'll have to stop all activity.
- at times I think I have lost all my fitness, my strength, my flexibility.
- sometimes I think I absolutely cannot make it to the top of the hill, around the next corner, or into the next second holding a yoga asana.
what these all have in common is the fact that these are just thoughts. each sentence involved the words I think.
and they're not simply thoughts, they are thoughts that belong in the category of black/white thinking, where it's either or, one extreme or the other, no middle ground, no possibility of change.
we can call this catastrophic thinking.
it's not just a sore knee, it's a ruined knee that will never run or pedal a bicycle again.
it's not just that I'm tired, it's that there is absolutely nothing left in me at all, forever.
it's not just a bad day, it's that I will always feel this way from now on.
I don't have an anxiety disorder, I'm actually quite mentally stable. but I catch myself, frequently, slipping into this place where these little catastrophizing thoughts niggle their way into my mind and try to set up camp.
and what I'm trying to do about it is to teach myself about making it through until tomorrow, because tomorrow is always better. sometimes the next hour is even better. sometimes things can change in even less time than that.
and it's this reality that I try to hold on to. you'd think by now I'd understand it, having lived and experienced these situations for so many years. why is it still something I need to convince myself of? why do I still fall into that trap of catastrophizing?
I don't have an answer to that.
but I know that each time I push a little further than I think I can bear, each time I hold a pose longer than I want, each time I think I might explode and yet I don't, each of these experiences adds to that pile of validations or proof that my thinking is in err. so I keep pushing myself, I keep surviving, I keep getting up the next day and proving my egoic mind wrong.
you'd think it would, by now, just give up.
but apparently it's one tough son of a gun, so I keep battling away at it.
today I received an email from our bad ass cycling team captain, in which she said she's hung up her bike for the season. sometimes the thought of doing that is quite tempting, even when the roads are dry and the temperatures are in the fifties. but I've learned this about myself: as much as I think it's time for a break, as often as I think I'll never ride again, as frequently as I experience those "I can't do it" moments, I always, eventually, get back on the bike.
I always find myself eventually feeling better.
I always make it through the pose, even if I have to regroup for a moment.
I always rediscover my strength.
and I always, always, make it up the hill.
so there, mr. catastrophe.
go pick on someone else.