I just finished a one minute plank. Why, oh why, would I choose to do such a thing??? Everybody knows that planks are hard. And boring. And sometimes painful. They are also apparently really good at improving core strength. Core strength happens to be important if you want a Boston Marathon qualifying time. And I want a BQ time. So I’m doing planks. (This is an oversimplification but it’ll do for now.)
Now, I’ve been here before. I’ve committed to “doing planks” no less than a hundred times in my running life. I’ll do them for awhile (3-5 days, max) and then I’ll fall off the wagon. After three days in a row of once daily planks I pretty much have a six pack and my core feels invincible. I stop before I get too carried away. The end result of all of this on again, off again planking is that I never really make any progress with my core strength. My core looks and behaves the way it did ten years ago. The other, perhaps more important end result, is that I’ve made 100 promises to myself that I haven’t kept.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I’m not going to claim that this an original thought. Certainly others have talked, blogged and written about this difficulty that most of us have with keeping the promises we make to ourselves. It has recently struck me, however, that these promises we make to ourselves are really, really important. I make commitments to other people all the time. I make commitments to my children, my family members, my coworkers, my friends and my patients. And I keep them! I don’t want to be the kind of mom, daughter, coworker, friend or doctor who can’t keep promises. Unfortunately, I don’t give myself the same importance. Somehow, the commitments I make to myself seem negotiable. I allow myself to be treated in a way I would never tolerate from a friend or family member. And I think it’s holding me back. Because of my inability to keep promises to myself, I set and fail to achieve, the same goals over, and over, and over again. And this makes me feel ineffectual and impotent. So I’m trying to change this but I know it’s going to take time and effort and I know it’s not going to be easy. I’ll have to work really hard to resist the urges to cheat on myself. So I’m starting small. Small but measurable and meaningful. I’m starting with a plank a day, for at least one minute, for the remainder of the month of October. That’s 28 days for those of you who are counting. And I’m writing it down both here and in my BuJo to hold myself accountable.
I’ll keep you posted on my progress. Until then, here’s to promises made, and kept!