What to do when you don’t want to do anything. At all.

My nephew just turned 20 months old. (At his age, you count the months. I can’t wait until he’s starting to know how tall he is so that he can tell me his height in eighths of an inch.) The thing about toddlers is that they are very clear on what they want to do, and what they do not want to do. And they use their nascent spoken language skills to great effect. Witness a recent exchange between us:

Me: “Night night?”
Nephew: “NO night night!”

Yes, this is what I felt like last Friday afternoon when I needed to get my workout in. This post is about how to deal when your inner tantrum-throwing toddler comes out.
Yes, this is what I felt like last Friday afternoon when I needed to get my workout in. This post is about how to deal when your inner tantrum-throwing toddler comes out.

Me: “Do you think that now that we have brushed our teeth, changed your diaper, put you into your favorite blue pajamas, and read you three hundred nighttime stories (actually, I think it was just one book 300 times), that it might now just be probable that you have tired out all of the adults in charge of your care this evening and that it therefore might be advisable for you to get into your crib with your animals and your blue and green blankie (the parents are thinking  the kid will take a shine to the Sounders; I’m hoping for the Seahawks) and close your eyes and go to sleep?”

Nephew: “I disagree. I do not want to do this, even though you seem to think it is a good idea.”

So we read the 301st story of the evening. I think he eventually got to sleep.

Here’s the thing. Some days my body has the emotional health of a 20-month-old willful toddler with a forty-word vocabulary. And so it was last Friday afternoon. I was slated to do a 7-mile run and I just could not get excited about it. I went outside, started the run, ran half a mile in the direction of my normal 7-mile course, turned around, went to the park, did a few loops, and then said NO. I just do not want to do this today.

These days occur. What’s important is what happens next.

I jogged home (there may have been a pit stop for frozen yogurt, pizza, and picking up a Valentine’s cookie for my hubby in that jog – which sort of negates the point of the workout, but that’s the kind of day  it was). I put on an exercise video and did 20 minutes of relatively tough calisthenics. And I called it a day. I did the best I could.

Then I got to a Zumba class on Saturday, and then I got a 90-minute run in on Sunday that actually felt good.

Moral of the story: the “NO!” moments are going to happen. That wild pizza and fro-yo craving hits me about once every three or four months now, so I usually just go with it since it’s not a habit. (If it was an every-day thing I’d need to do some nutrition triage to figure out what was going on that I was craving high-sugar, high-fat foods all the time.) And the feeling of having no energy whatsoever does really happen sometimes. If the exercise DVD hadn’t worked, I would have done a yoga DVD. Just to move, to get away from my work desk, to change the scenery.

BUT…that’s where the story starts, not where it ends. Because in order to get past that kind of a funk, I need to move ahead to asking the question the Seahawks asked to end their night at MetLife Stadium on February 2 after they romped in Super Bowl 48.

“What’s next?”

That was the final Seahawks cheer before they went to their victory party. And so it is for me and my mojo.

What’s next is this: figuring out what happened to my schedule that was hurting my mojo. And it’s relatively obvious, now that I have a little distance from the events of last Friday and I can take the time to figure it out. I didn’t plan decent meals this week – I didn’t go to the store to refresh on groceries, so I’ve been eating stuff already in the house, which isn’t a huge problem on its face. But I haven’t had enough fresh fruit and veggies around and there’s been a little too much comfort food-style eating in this town this week. Also, I’ve been coming up with excuses for not getting my weekend long run in, which is alarming since Boston is nine weeks away, today, and that kind of phoning it in does not work in that sport at all.

A goal needs a plan.

That’s my takeaway from my “NO!” moment. I want to be ready for Boston in nine weeks. But I have to take the time to plan out the details that will make a championship nine weeks of training actually happen. A goal without a plan is a rudderless vessel.

So if my goal is to have enough mojo to get my workouts in, then I have to get my workouts in when I have the most mojo. Guess when I have the most mojo? Early morning. 6 a.m. to about 8 a.m. or so. That’s the window. Fantastic. Okay, now I know what I’m sentencing myself to this coming week. That’s the plan right there. In fact, by the time you read this post, I will have already done the Monday version of this plan. So there.

Recent #every48 workouts: Friday 2/14 – a 2.46-mile run followed by a 20-minute exercise video. Saturday 2/15: a one-hour Zumba class followed by 15 minutes of a walk/run on the treadmill (with one mile at goal marathon pace). Sunday 2/16: A 90-minute run – I decided to sign up for the Hal Higdon Boston Marathon program because they send me daily emails that will help me keep my goal to get to Boston fully trained top of mind.

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