Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Mantra? Hardly!!

     Welcome back, VeGAL (Vegan Girl AthLete).  Do you happen to have a particular saying, chant or song which serves as your mantra?  You know, that little voice in your head that helps to keep you going during a workout or other challenging event.  Something that inspires you to dig a little deeper just when you think you cannot go any further.  Sure, VeGALs possess internal sources of strength but we should also be prepared to rely on external sources as well, if need be, as our bodies and minds demand it.  For me personally, one such mantra is "run it out," a saying that reassures me that my aches and pains upon initiating activity will eventually go away if I remain steadfast.  Usually it works but there are those times when we know we are doomed as the pain intensifies and we are suddenly sidelined by an injury.  It is then suggested that we shift our focus to another mantra as a coping mechanism for those dark and dismal days should we find ourselves temporarily stripped of our passionate activity (VeGALs do NOT accept permanent restrictions).
     This VeGAL loves her tunes, especially during those excruciatingly long runs or cardio workouts.  Headphones are discouraged on trails runs so as to keep every sense intact for those unforeseen encounters with nature/wildlife.  I chanted JT's (you had better know who I am referring to!) "Let the Groove Get In" the entire DTR 13.1 trail run which turned out to be 18 miles due to poorly marked trails!!!  I cannot tell you how "instrumental" it was in getting me back on track!!
     Okay, so you get my point, right?  Are you thinking of a mantra to adopt?  Do you have one you might suggest to hard core VeGALs??
Well guess what...sometimes it's all just a bunch of BS!!!  And that is why the purpose of today's blog is to share with you my more popular ritual, stolen from the letters of "mantra," and something I hope every VeGAL can utilize without abusing, too much, that is.  I am referring to what I like to call the "a.m. rant."  Aha...you know what I'm talking about it, especially if you know me personally!  Screw the mantra and go with the rant!  Who has time for all that positive energy crap when VeGALs are dealing with kids, work, training, significant others, family, pets, finances, weight/beauty/health issues, etc.? 
     Whether you choose to keep it in your head, take it out on some exercise equipment or bite someone else's head off, the am rant is sometimes the only thing that will suffice!  If you are fortunate like me to have a training partner (or many) you trust, who will tolerate it, who listens without judging or at least pretends to listen, then consider yourself blessed!  But don't overdo it!!!  Try to take turns!  It's only fair.  Just fake it if you have to (VeGALs can do that!) and remember...what happens on the road/gym stays on the road/gym!  One might consider this a negative approach but I find it to be very cathartic.  It's all in the name of healing! Of course it is also beneficial to those we had originally targeted to pick a fight with!  You see...we can't always have happy thoughts!  VeGALs are real gals with real ongoing issues!  It can't always be rainbows and butterflies!!  So get it out of your system in the wee hours, if that is your ideal workout time.  Sometimes you can even have an entire argument in your head that you are able to resolve by the time you finish your training.  Something you may have thought about taking up with another person at the risk of severing a relationship may be resolved in that way, before it ever makes it out of your big unfiltered mouth! Best of all, no one is worse for wear!  Furthermore, VeGALs can be narrow-minded (a rare occurrence) so having a neutral training partner can help you to be more rational when working through a struggle. 
     My shy and quiet guy (running partner) takes my abuse over and over again.  He has mastered both the art of pretending to listen as well as remaining objective.  He lets me bitch just about anything, from the asshole running or biking in the dark without a light, to the annoying runner shuffling his feet or the skinny fast bitch on the other side of the road who makes me feel like shit!  It can get pretty heavy at times, especially when it comes to dealing with exes. Sometimes trivial, sometimes pretty darn serious!  Regardless, the rant is an essential part of the VeGAL workout!  But don't lose sight of the value of the mantra!  Sometimes a combo plate is needed!!!
     You say mantra, I say am rant!  Conflict?  Let's call the whole thing off!!! 
     That's it for now!  Never forget, VeGALs train with a conscience and are firmly planted.  We aspire to be cruelty free with the exception of our training partners!