OK In Health - Embracing Change

Have You Found Your Second Wind? - November 2013

By Lyndsay Blais

Ever notice that when you first start something, exercise, house work, lessons, or anything you’d like to achieve; that early on it can feel like you don’t have enough energy to complete the task at hand?

I’m currently training for a triathlon, and this week I found myself wondering, “When will I hit the level of athleticism where I won’t feel that initial drag and fatigue anymore? I thought exercising was supposed to give me energy!”

“It does give you energy, but you will never be completely free of the sluggishness early on. It’s just that the more fit you are, the sooner you get your breath back.” was the reply.

Enter, the “Second Wind” discussion.

“You just need to keep moving until your body realizes you aren’t going to heed its warning signals, then your body makes the transition to aerobic metabolism which allows you to take in more oxygen and breathe easier.”

While there is much debate about whether the “Second Wind” phenomenon is about oxygen, endorphin release, or purely a psychological response to taking action …I think it’s a beautiful combination of all three, and one we can use in all areas of our lives, not just at the gym.

It appears to me that the “mental game” is more about getting past the first wind without giving up and giving in to defeating thoughts.

If I’m expecting it to be easy and it’s not, I question my ability. If I expect the first wind to pass, (no pun intended) then I get busy doing what I need to do to get moving, confident that my second wind is on its way.

Ultimately, I feel great after a workout, and I’ve since come to appreciate Woody Allen’s quote that “80% of success is just showing up”…all I need to do is focus on getting to the pool, then I can turn off my brain (at least the part that runs the negative and defeating self talk) and just do what I am there to do. So far it is working for my physical training, in facing my fears regarding difficult conversations, stepping outside my comfort zone by starting a new Dream Club, and in facing my fear of speaking in front of large audiences.

If you knew you could not fail, where would your second wind take you? Back to the gym? Through the doors of the company you would like to work for? To an art class? Out on a date?

Once your body realizes you are moving forward despite your fears, your diaphragm will open up, you will begin to breathe easier and you will happily welcome the boost of energy as your reward.

Contemplating the long race ahead of me, I asked quite seriously “Is there a 3rd and 4th wind?” “After the 2nd wind, it’s all about the fuel…” was the response, as I was offered a piece of protein bar.

Thank you to my coach and training buddies for this discussion, it got me thinking about all the fuel I have for this goal, which is carrying me further than I ever thought possible.

When it comes to your life, have you considered what is fueling your goals?

Now there’s some food for thought.

So let’s hear it for the “Second Wind”, and to those who persevere long enough to experience it!

Carpe diem! Seize the day!

~ Lyndsay




Lyndsay BlaisLyndsay's Bio: Lyndsay Blais, creator and facilitator of the Embracing Change Program; Assisting Individuals through Career and Life Transitions. Contact Lyndsay in Penticton, B.C. 250-809-5399 - Email


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