Thursday, April 2, 2009

"You Are What You Think About All Day Long..."

One of my 2009 life policies has been that, if I have a thought that excites me, I will act on it within 12 hours of conception. Given my propensity to be distracted by the nonstop influx of stimuli that pelt me throughout my day life, let alone by the thoughts inspired by said stimuli, this life policy is essential.

It sounds crazy -- but already, look where it's got me:
* Started legit scientific investigation of the psychological effects of HR training
* Started new personal cycling/mindfulness coaching program
* For some crazy reason, I now get 50-100 hits a day on my Spinning blog -- most of which come from random far-off geographic areas, reflective of the fact that most readers have no personal relationship with me. This strikes me as completely crazy that this many strangers would want to take time to read about what's on my mind.
* I'm having the medical training experience of my dreams, as a direct consequence of instantly moving on a "good idea."
* I'm attending a super-valuable conference in Chicago next month, might actually have funding for it, and actually do get to see my former boss/mentor for the first time in a year, and a host of key life contacts.

A month ago, I decided it'd be neat to hold a panel of physicians to talk about practical considerations for discussing nutrition/exercise with patients. I decided I was sick of the usual bullshit: "You should exercise." Uh, what does THAT mean? Do any of them even know? It was completely unacceptable to me that my knowledge as a cycling coach would supersede my training as a physician. I should be learning more. It's MEDICAL SCHOOL. Not okay. People kinda poo-poo'd my idea for a while, and I got distracted by life.... until I took a step back and thought: Hey. This WAS a good idea. You really wanted this. It was important to you. Go. Do it.. So I did it. It was today. There were 50 people in attendance, and many approached me afterwards and said it was the best panel of their medical school experience to date. Symbolically, it was such a big deal to look around the room and see all these people gathered to breathe life into my idea.

To balance this somewhat grandiosely self-enamored sense of pride, I was really lame at the clinic yesterday. I was awkward and shy and stumbled over my words. I did make a treatment recommendation for a patient to my preceptor, who really dug it and actually prescribed it. Electric stimulation for chronic back pain. To see my idea on an actual prescription pad for an actual person was HUGE. But other than that, I was a huge loser. As much as I learn, I continuously am reminded of how little I know -- which undermines my self-concept of having any value in that context. I see myself, rather, as a "knowledge/experience leech" - not really contributing anything.

This may also be behind my blatant self-handicapping right now to develop my coaching cues for the 6-hour Spinathon I am co-leading in just over a day! I am petrified and anxious. Not in control of my element, mostly because I am also organizing many of the key logistics (i.e., the actual instructors, the actual programming, the music, all that... all of this can be dramatically screwed up!). I wrote an entry yesterday on Spintastic about my approach to fleshing out my concept for the ride. I felt okay about it, yet the self-handicapping continues. Too many half-baked messages and themes and fragments. Where is the confident appreciation of myself as a resource? For all the spurts of grandiosity, where are they when I need them?

My ride, in theory, is going to be about the power of self-talk. The idea that one is completely in control of one's attitude, the lens through which all experiences are processed and interpreted. The idea that by mindfully focusing on the processes in which one engages as one navigates the challenges of one's world, one can accomplish one's goal with fluidity, poise, and strength.

I am so aware of how cluttered my brain is right now. All the things I could say, jumbled together. I need to de-clutter. Need to reacquaint myself with the structure I have often been so good at imposing. I need to read my own words, need to inhabit them fresh. I need to re-experience their meaning. I have so enjoyed feeling like I have truly LIVED the stuff I talk about all day long in my cycling classes -- but I'm not living it now. I am in complete control over how prepared I feel. But, alas, I do nothing.

This experience I have hyped up for almost eight months... all of it will be over soon. It might come together in the moment -- but I need it to come together right now...

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