The Mental Barrier

I fell off the exercise bandwagon when I got back from Beijing.  I had promised myself that I was either going to swim or bicycle every day.  When I got back, the air was so bad, I felt I couldn’t breathe outside, let alone do aerobic exercise in it.  Then, when the air cleared up, it was because of a cold snap.  But it turned warm again this week, with highs consistently in the ’80’s.  For the last several days, I’ve had really no excuse.  Except, the water in the pool was so darned cold! 
 
I told Song Ying about this.  She’s really supportive of my efforts to exercise.  She exercises every day by riding her bicycle to work, and more, and she thinks I should, too.  When I told her it was so cold to get in the pool, she said, "Just jump in, do your laps, get out and take a hot shower!"  In truth, it’s not the cold water that’s so bad.  It’s the THOUGHT of the cold water!  Getting in the pool involves more in the way of a mental barrier than a physical one! 
 
So today, I did it.  I jumped in that cold water, face first.  It felt like a bath of ice water!  I refrained from yelling.  I thought to myself, the answer is to swim really fast.  So I did.  After half a lap the water felt tolerable.  "This is FRESH," I assured myself!  Really, it was quite refreshing.  However, I swam too fast.  I only did ten laps, then decided I had run out of steam.  It was a start, and tomorrow I’ll do more.  I promise.  So there, and now that I’ve said it, I have to, right?  It’s all a matter of overcoming the mental barrier:  I’ve decided I need to, therefore I will. 
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