When The Going Gets Tough, Simplify

Back when I used to go to driving ranges I sometimes struggled to make it through an entire bucket of balls. I had a method. I would start with my best club which was the seven iron and progress to more and more difficult clubs, but occasionally I would lose my swing. At this point I grabbed the pitching wedge and would pick out a target close to me and work on the short compact swing of a chip shot.

I was a terrible golfer. I never was able to even break 100 and eventually I decided I didn’t hate myself enough to keep playing, but I did enjoy the driving range. I was actually pretty good at the driving range, and had a lot of fun going.

Here I am with my push-up challenge now and I am starting to struggle. This is a year long routine I am hoping to turn into a habit for life, but now I am sleeping in too long because I know when I get up there are push-ups waiting for me.

The target number is now 90 and I managed to do 86 this morning. That should be exciting. I was this close to the target number and have an outside shot of hitting 100 before January ends. This should get the blood and the adrenaline flowing, but I know when my alarm rings tomorrow morning I am going to shut it off and roll over to go back to sleep because the push-ups are getting tougher and tougher.

At this point I need to simplify. I need to figure out how to simplify. The challenge is to hit the target number in one set, but perhaps I need to break it down on some mornings. Tell myself it is ok to do 50 and 40 as long as I do the 90 before going downstairs. This leaves the target number at 90 but it gives me permission to have an off day. It gives me permission to get out of bed without dreading the push-ups, and who knows maybe once I start the set I will suddenly start feeling good and just keep going.

It is all a mental thing in some regards. The brain and the body work in harmony to create either doubt or confidence. I need to remove the mind from the equation. I need to turn it into the mechanical act of the body moving up and down. There should be no confidence or doubt, only push-ups.

The number tomorrow is 90. I feel as if I can hit that. I was close today with 86. I just need to give myself permission to begin with no expectations. So, tomorrow I will break that 90 into two sets. I will get up at 5:00 AM to begin my day, and the first thing I will do is push-ups. It might be 45, it might be 50, or it might be the whole 90, but I will not dread the push-ups.

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