According to Wiktionary, willpower is defined as follows:

Willpower: The unwavering strength of will to carry out one’s wishes

I kind of dig that definition of willpower versus the more-traditional definition that talks about self-control as a form of willpower.

Because truth be told, willpower can definitely be about self-control. As in, I’d rather have scrambled eggs and toast with peanut butter for dinner than those cookies I was talking about on twitter yesterday with Amber, Sam and Jess. 😉

But, willpower can and does mean more than that to me. Especially as it relates to my continued healthy living journey I mentioned in yesterday’s post. Now that the official barre n9ne 60-day challenge is behind me, for example, I’m reevaluating how I approach each class. Asking myself “how can I push myself harder, challenge myself more, experience more?”

The simple answer to that is willpower.

Pushing myself to hold those plies at the barre as long as I can, letting my legs shake versus giving them a break during a set and not getting to that “hurt so good shake” that invokes such change if you let your body get to that “shake” moment in class. This is a big area of focus for me – getting to that shake, focusing on letting my body do something my mind wants to tell me isn’t possible.

…Believing that I can hold that plie for 30 more seconds.
…Believing that my body can handle it and pushing through the flash of self-doubt that happens right before I’m about to give up on those last few seconds.

That’s what I focused on almost entirely during last night’s barre n9ne method class. And you know what? That willpower, that sheer determination to get through the set? Hell, that sh*t works! I held almost every single move at the barre last night for the entire set (count ’em – three sets for every single move…).

…Because I CAN do it.
…I’ve just been letting my brain dictate what my body does.

Similarly, during yesterday’s AM training run, there was probably at least six times when I thought to myself, hmmm…maybe we’ll turn around a little early. Or, maybe this 6.5 miler isn’t meant to be today. Maybe I should do 4 today, 6.5 another day this week. Maybe I should stop.

Hold up. Stop?? Um…no. Not an option.

So, considering I was “option-less” – I did just what I set out to do. I ran 6.5 miles. Even though it was muggy as hell out at 5:15 in the morning. Even though I was lethargic and sleepy because of it. Even though I was so thirsty and just wanted to give in. I ran and I ran. THAT is willpower. Determination. Strength.

As I’ve mentioned to you all before, this training cycle (the half, and the 60-day challenge) has been largely about mental strength and determination. And yes, willpower. This is where I’m discovering new-found confidence. Because I’m finally believing, trusting, commiting.

So yeah, me and willpower? We’re apparently becoming fast friends. I’m thinking maybe BFF’s by the time we get to the half on August 14. What do you think?

Speaking of willpower, confidence and strength – please go check me out over at the barre n9ne studio blog where I pour my heart out about how amazing and incredible the barre n9ne 60-day challenge has been for me. Y’know, since I clearly can’t stop talking about it, thinking about it, walking on clouds because of it. 😉