Locus of Control aka Why I’ve Lost My Freaking Mind

This week I’m hung up on my locus of control. Not so much that I’ve bothered to look it up to see if I’m even going to explain what it is correctly (so whatever you don’t put much stock in what I say) but enough that it’s affecting my decisions.

I believe it’s a psychological term that basically means how much an individual believes she is in control of the events that affect her.  If memory serves (again, no guarantees) one’s belief system can either be internal (meaning she’s in control of her life) or external (that other people, or a higher power, or circumstances control them).

Recently I’ve been feeling as though my locus is external (I don’t seem to have any control over much of what I attempt) and it’s been making me pretty darn miserable, so I’ve been thinking about how to shore up my internal locus, thereby taking responsibility to make myself happier.

I finally settled on trying to do another half marathon. I like the mental part of training for a distance event because it makes me feel as though I’m in charge of my own destiny. It’s the physical part that’s iffy. Among other things, I’ve got not one, not two, but three different recurring injuries that pretty much knocked me out of any training for the past year, BUT I think I’ve found an effective treatment for the most bothersome of those, so perhaps all is not lost.

Monday I did three miles (for the first time in a long, long time) and for the first time in a long, long time, I wasn’t in too much pain. Amazing. Cue the freaking singing angels.

So I’m grabbing destiny by the….um….horns and signing up for two half marathons. One in three months (DO NOT EVER TRY TO TRAIN FOR A HALF MARATHON IN ONLY THREE MONTHS IF YOU’VE BEEN DOING NEXT TO NOTHING…it’s freaking nuts, and could be unsafe, and is definitely irresponsible) and one in October.

Uhhhh…so why sign up for the one in three months? Because it’s nearby (yeah, I know, a lame reason) and because I’m in desperate need of a you-are-out-of-your-freaking-mind-to-even-think-about-trying-it challenge. Because here’s the thing no one ever talks about when it comes to walking/running 13.1 miles…it’s not the race day that’s tough. It’s not crossing the finish line that’s so damn hard. It’s GETTING TO the starting line.

It takes commitment and self-discipline, along with sacrifice and suffering, to stick to a training program. Sure it’s physically difficult at times (okay, for me, MOST of the time) but it’s the mental and emotional aspects that test my mettle.

So, barring any new injuries, or a significant flare up of old ones, I’m going to spend the next 90 days – wait, scratch that, I started Monday—the next 88 days exercising my internal locus of control.

What do you think of my plan?

Are you contemplating, or in the midst, of any Herculean tasks? They don’t have to be physical…I consider things like (but not limited to) writing a book, selling a house, returning to school, losing weight, or starting a new job, to be pretty impressive feats.

Do you feel as though you lean more toward an internal or external locus of control?

I’ll be reporting my progress (or lack thereof) every Wednesday, so be sure to check in.

On Monday, I’ll be unveiling the second part of my Locus plan on Killer Chicks!

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14 thoughts on “Locus of Control aka Why I’ve Lost My Freaking Mind

  1. Joann says:

    Woo hoo! Those are some serious challenges you have ahead of you. I think it’s absolutely fabulous and I’ll be sending you lots of good vibes for a healthy mind and body. Also, I’m jealous. I cannot wait to be able to walk two blocks without hurting, let alone a half marathon!

    I’ve moved through life a bit like a leaf on the wind, allowing external events to lead me in different directions. In the past four years, though, my locus of control has switched to an internal one. I think it’s all the writing. I’m driven in a way I didn’t believe possible. It’s both scary (because I can’t blame other people for my choices, dammit!) and exhilarating.

    Yup, there is one big giant massive herculean task on my to-do list, but you already know what that is. 😉

  2. Jenny says:

    Good for you for being so ambitious! I will be cheering you all the way.

    I’ve really been focusing on my internal locus of control too (and my understanding of what it is the same as yours, so if you’re wrong, then I’m wrong, too!). So much of what’s happening in my life right now (professionally and personally) is beyond my control, and that’s causing me massive anxiety. So I’m trying to focus on the things I know I have control over: getting 8 hours of sleep, work on the new book, yoga 3x week, cardio 3x week, eating better, staying hydrated, BREATHING.

    Very timely post!

  3. Kate Perry says:

    Way to take action! I think it helps mentally to do something proactive, and it gets you in motion. Whenever I feel stuck or antsy, I tackle something like this too. I mean, not marathons (because I’m not insane) but more benign-yet-similar things. Like I’ll paint some fruit or move to another country for a while or something.

  4. jblynn says:

    Joann — Thank you for the support, and yes, I know what your Herculean task is, and I know you’re going to accomplish it!

    Jenny — Breathing??? Now there’s a novel concept! 😉

    Kate — hmmmm, methinks you suggested I’m insane…and for the record “painting fruit” and “move to another country” are not two tasks I would consider comparable or interchangeable.

  5. I don’t think I’ve even felt my locus of control was internal. That must be nice. Congrats on your ‘you must be out of your mind’ plan. I could use one of those. I can totally relate to the feeling that you’ve got to do something to get a handle on your own reality.

    My current Herculean task is reorganizing all my household paperwork and income tax information [hopefully before tax day].

  6. RunnerGirl says:

    So DAMN happy!!!!! I too am going a 1/2 marathon close to home 🙂 Actually I am doing it 2 or 3 weeks after I was going to do a marathon that is further from home but injuries have made me settle on the 1/2, that they run the same day, instead of the full—(since the one further is for a cause near and dear I cannot and will not quit it) —hence why I signed up for the 1/2 half, then in one month i TECHNICALLY have run a marathon —–the second one I am TRYING to convince a friend (coincidentally her name is Jen, to do it too, as a relay with me, then we can do a 10k each —but she just had a baby and told me “I GET NO SLEEP, NO SHOWERS and YOU WANT ME TO RUN!!! ” —i think she means NO! LOL I am so glad you are doing a 1/2 and 1/2 again I know how much it means , it is a LOCUS! Oddly I think I get your post.
    Happy Trails to you – maybe I’ll be on one of yours 🙂

    • jblynn says:

      Running — wait, so you’re doing two halves two weeks apart? Or a half (on that flat course) and then a half on the local course? Talk about a busy month! I’m impressed. Not impressed that once again the trail is covered with snow ((sigh))

  7. RunnerGirl says:

    LORD — does my post make ANY FREAKING SENSE!!!

  8. runnergirl says:

    yes I am ATTEMPING 1/2 than a 1/2 —so I can say “I did a marathon in two weeks” -lol. The 2nd, I fear may be SNOW COVERED in May since it is now..again 😦 I feel the sadness too.
    I wanted the Marathon for NJ but I will not be ready, did 7 miles yesterday and 5 on sat which included running over the GW Bridge – just beautiful ( except for the wall of wind on the return from the NY side to the NJ side) As long as I finish the event for my cause and reasons I do not care about time or anything.
    I am very excited for you! Cover copy…cannot wait ! June will be here so quickly, you must be excited, happy, nervous, and ready to puke all at the same time! I WILL be reading your book barring page one. I am really excited to read it. The anticipation of this dream must be so fulfilling! I am glad to see that dreams to come true, to good people who work hard and never give up…you deserve this and great success, I think your success is already measured in getting published ( yes BIG SALES too 🙂 ) —oh and completed the 1/2 in May, you are a “Superhero” 🙂

  9. jblynn says:

    Thanks, Running! Your response made me 🙂

  10. RunnerGirl says:

    back at ya girl 🙂

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