The Dictator Within

My mantra “determination, persistence and commitment” would be just words if it weren’t for The Dictator. The Dictator shouts and yells, he snarls and barks, he pushes and shoves, he cracks the whip. The Dictator gets me to the gym every day, he makes me go where I’m scared to go, he makes me stretch and exercise when I’d rather go to bed or watch TV. The Dictator calls me names and relentlessly keeps me moving forward. The Dictator denies temptation, keeps the troops in line, roots out subversion and keeps me on the straight and narrow. Yet The Dictator is not abusive and does not swear or curse. The Dictator says “DO IT” and I do.

What happens if the Dictator crumbles? If the voice cracks or is lost? Then the troops slow down, lose direction, become confused. Life becomes harder, the world darker.

That’s when I need inspiration from outside. Someone to listen is best, or maybe following the faint memory of routine brings me into contact with someone and I rediscover my self.

The world can be hostile when your mobility is impaired. Simple things can seem impossible. Anxiety and panic can immobilise you. Negative thoughts can creep in and overwhelm the optimistic, confident self.

I need some means of rediscovering the inner voice, the voice that gives the orders, pulls the troops back into line. I listen for an echo or a whisper “Do it”, or fake the orders until they become real, and the Dictator returns. I need the voice that says “DO IT”. I need The Dictator within.

That’s why routine is so important, particularly going to the gym. There, not only do I experience all the benefits of exercise and socialising, but that’s where The Dictator’s voice is loudest. Exercises that take me to the edge of what I can safely do, that test and recruit physical weaknesses, and that make my brain work out harder than my body, need the voice that says “DO IT”. It’s a challenging environment but it’s also a safe and happy place. That’s often where I’ll find My Dictator.

The Dictator
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2 thoughts on “The Dictator Within

  1. Ouch! I read that you had fallen in the shower… Nasty. The results of your fall aren’t tiny. Sometimes the unexpected can catch us when we are vulnerable, both physically and emotionally. It’s that moment of vulnerability that can shake us to our very core. That’s when we want to cry for no big reason. It’s as if we’ve shattered into a thousand pieces. (gives meaning to the expression “pull yoursel together”!) it’s in those moments that I need my Dictator.
    I hope you’re feeling better soon 🙂

  2. Denny – what a powerful post and picture of your world. Thank you. Just this week I fell and hurt my ribs. It’s so tiny. So small. Yet it’s affecting my world, my mobility and my heart. I read this at the right time and am moving off the couch to the store….

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