My Year To Thrive

"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." ~Maya Angelou

Mental Barriers During Exercise


The obstacles you face are… mental barriers which can be broken by adopting a more positive approach.
~Clarence Blasier (Think Exist)

Metal fence with shadow

When I run a mile at the park it takes two laps.  When I switch to the high school track it takes four.  Even though the track is half as long, after two laps I am ready to stop.

When I run for a mile now, if I get tired I just have to keep telling myself I can do it because I’ve done it before & I have the juice to keep going around.

When I’m doing push-ups, in order to do a certain number of them I have to fix that number in my mind.  I can do that many, however I have to struggle, & often that is it.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how mental exercise is.  Before I never thought I could do it, so I didn’t.  Between the running & the push-ups challenge I have realized when I don’t think I have anything left inside me, I just need to dig deeper.  I am proud & amazed at what I’ve accomplished so far. 

One thing I can’t do is think too far ahead.  At times I feel so hopeful, I like to envision myself doing a hundred push-ups nonstop, running a marathon, trail running, just generally running around being superfit.  This usually ends up becoming overwhelming & I want to quit because I don’t think I can ever do any of that.  I quit halfway through W2D2 of the 100 push-ups this time because during my rest breaks I kept looking ahead at all the push-ups I would have to do.  I psyched myself out & got too mentally tired to continue.  I started over the next week & I have been going strong, even if then I didn’t think I could do it.

Writing this, I wish I had saved the quote I used the other day.

“The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right. Which one are you?”
~Henry Ford (Good Reads)

Here are a few articles I found on the issue of exercise & mentality:

Secrets of Creating a Positive Exercise Mentality

Ditching the Diet Mentality

Barriers to Fitness: Overcoming Common Challenges

Overcoming Barriers to Physical Activity


Author: despitemyself

A person in flux.

4 thoughts on “Mental Barriers During Exercise

  1. Oh my gosh, I remember feeling this way!

    I know it’s tough, but I promise if I can do it you can too. It took me four years of hard work, but I’ve definitely solidified my position as “a runner.” I went from where you are, to pushing through each mile, to running my first marathon in 2010, and now I’m a regular half-marathoner and going strong. I’m so glad I stumbled on your blog and can’t wait to read about your 5K – feel free to reach out any time you have questions about running, or even if you just want to bitch about thigh chafing!

    • Thanks! I can’t wait to get up to doing marathons! Gotta get up to being able to run an entire 5K first, I suppose:) I am so impatient, lol. That has made it hard to stay motivated, but since I discovered I could finally run a full mile I have been way more excited about it.

      Thanks for the offer! I will definitely do that. ^_^

  2. Great post! Attitude is so important with exercise and pushing through even when you dont want to or dont think you can. You can do anything you set your mind on as long as you believe it is possible. Setting goals is also huge to get over those mental barriers. I have a masters in exercise science and blog about exercise advice and motivational tips if you are interested in following. I would be more than happy to help you reach your goals and answer any questions you may have. Have a great day and keep up the good work!

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