Conscious vs unconscious effort

This was one of those weird mornings where I was somehow off my schedule and habits that took years to form apparently have no impact on me.  A great example: I brushed my teeth before I flossed.  I’ve been flossing before I brush my teeth for some crazy number of years, but apparently my brain didn’t care about all of those habit-forming years this morning.  For some reason I brushed my teeth first.  Oh well.

It made me think about the impact of habits and conscious vs unconscious thoughts on our activities.  A great example: have you ever found it impossible to remember a phone number, credit card number, password, etc?  While somehow other ones you remember flawlessly?  I feel like that’s because some things we make a conscious decision to remember, and other things we just let slip into and out of our brain like a sieve.  I think our brain really does remember what we consciously try to put there.  The trick might be disciplining our brain enough to conciously remember what we put there.  If we have our password written down on a piece of paper, for example, and always dig up the piece of paper when we need to type in our password, we’re not really programming our brain to remember the password.  We’re programming our brain to remember that when it’s time to type in the password, we find the piece of paper.  Most things in life are like this… if we program ourselves to not remember things, not to try hard at things, not to do things, we will probably be less than happy with the results (forgetfulness, lack of discipline, procrastination, etc).  We get better at whatever we practice… this can be good or bad, depending on what we practice.  How much does this have to do with brushing my teeth before flossing?  Probably very little… but there’s a common nugget in there somewhere if anyone feels interested in thinking about it.  🙂

I felt like doing a challenging workout this morning.  I ran an 8k race on Saturday with Mike and it was a challenging race.  Lots of hills, and plenty of warm weather and hot sun.  Both Mike and I got pretty parched during the run.  On the upside, it was a gorgeous day and there were so many people participating in the race that you were just running with throngs of people.  The race preceded a parade, so there were already people lining the streets waiting for the parade, and they cheered us on.  It was very motivating!  There were a lot of little kids along the race course holding out their hands to high-five the runners.  Very cute!  I high-fived a bunch of kids during the race.

Anyway… that was a challenging workout, and it felt great!  So this morning I was ready for another challenging workout!  I started out with a mile warm-up run and then did hill intervals (running hard up the hill and at a relaxed pace down the hill) repeatedly for about twenty-five minutes.  That was a great workout… I was definitely sweaty at the end!  It was a beautiful morning though… cool and clear.  Just about perfect for running!  I missed yoga Sunday morning (it has just been such a busy week!) so I’m feeling pretty stiff after those two hard workouts.  I’ll definitely need to throw in some yoga tonight or tomorrow morning to get some of that flexibility back into my limbs!  I have a yoga class Thursday night, but I don’t know if I can wait that long.

Back to work… it’s a busy Monday!


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