Override Button

We all need an override button. A button that can be pressed to prevent us from making bad decisions. A button to override thoughts of going out to train when we know we shouldn’t, or conversely, a button that would help override the inclination to skip a training session for no other reason than lack of motivation.

Lately, my override button has been seeing a lot of action. So much so I traded in my crappy plastic one for one made of titanium.

In April, I had surgery in an effort to reduce the pain associated with damaged intercostal nerves. The surgery worked for a while. And then, it didn’t. I woke up one day, and the pain came roaring back; I felt like someone unleashed the Kraken on my ribs and abdomen. Each day, the pain becomes worse. This is where my fancy new titanium override button comes in handy.

Objectively, I know that exercise helps my pain. However, every morning I wake up feeling battered and I wonder how I am going to get out the door and run. I grab my override button and use it to suppress my urge to stay home and get back under the covers, and I go out for a run. Usually, the first 15-20 minutes feel terrible and then I can feel my body respond to the movement and the pain gradually lessens.

Here’s the thing, though. My running has taken a hit. My paces are much slower and the distance I can run has decreased. Since my override button is portable, I take it with me on my runs, because I need it to override the self-judgment and frustration that occur with my diminished capacities.

My brain wants to lament the slower pace and reduced mileage; whose wouldn’t? But, when I press the button, my mindset shifts; rather than ruminating over my speed and distance, I focus on the fact that I am happy to be outside running with my doggie and generating some much needed Exercise Feels Good (EFG) points.

My override button gets more of a daily workout than I do. I use it periodically during the day when my thoughts turn dark or my body becomes unbearably painful. Sometimes, I feel like Humpty Dumpty and I’ve been put back together all wrong. The override button helps me manage my thoughts and feelings so that I am able to function.

I recommend that everyone find an override button. Perhaps yours will be made of gold or encrusted with diamonds or might even take on a more utilitarian look. However you decide to decorate it, remember that your button has so many applications to creating a more harmonious environment for training and daily life.

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