Now the problem is that the theory behind hibernation is that because of the harsh winters, an animal finds it difficult to locate the scarce nutrients it needs to survive through the harsh winter season. Herein lies the problem--food is not scare in the McCarthy world, we are nowhere near winter, and in California today, we are suffering through a heat wave that will take us past one hundred degrees.
Another problem is that I can't afford to start storing fat this early in the season, because I am already at my winter fluff capacity. And the sad thing is that this capacity was reached before my official school summer break ended in early August.
The other key to hibernation is that a hibernating animal's heart rate and breathing slows down so that the animal's energy use is at a minimum. My inner bear is also trying to slow down my energy use by tempting me to snuggle down and nest in my cave of blankets instead of working out. If someone is waiting for me in the morning, I can resist, but if I have to work out on my own, I have succumb to that siren called my inner bear at least three times in the last two weeks.
This morning I actually rolled out of bed at 5 am before the sun was even thinking of getting up. However, my inner bear was alive and kicking trying to convince me to put off my run. "You can't run yet, you need to stretch first (really an excuse to be able to lay on the floor)." "Do you really think you can run without your morning coffee (really an excuse to sit on my lounge chair and watch the morning news shows). "Why don't you just wait for a bit...maybe Kay will want to run with you (really an excuse to not run by myself)." "If you wait just thirty minutes more you can switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer (really getting desperate now--choosing laundry instead of exercising). And one final desperate attempt to not leave my cave, "Maybe if I wait a bit more Sean will get up and he'll want to run with me!"
That's when I had to once again channel my inner bear. Luckily I am a gemini, and while I have a lazy, hibernating kind of side, I also have a fierce, stubborn side that can take over as well. So I decided that not only would I run instead of laze around, I chose a challenging uphill course to remind my lazy bear side that I cannot be taken down that easily. I pushed myself 5.5 miles up and down my course and managed a pace of just under 10 minutes/mile, which is good for me, especially when I am pushing the incline. Partway up the hill, one of my favorite Bruno Mars tunes began to play, and I had to chuckle at the irony of the lyrics:
Today I don't feel like doing anything
I just wanna lay in my bed
Don't feel like picking up my phone
So leave a message at the tone
'Cause today I swear I'm not doing anything.
Today I was able to resist my lazy inner bear, push up that hill, and get those good endorphins coursing through my body. It is these good feelings that I need to focus in on when I am tempted to fluff up for the winter or skip my workouts. This urge to hibernate needs to be resisted--hoping my stubborn will to succeed and the support and encouragement of my family and friends can pull me through another winter (well, really fall and winter), so that I can finally put this inner bear to rest for good.