July 5

Why I Punched A Lizard In The Face This Morning


It all started with ankle surgery.

For the past two years, I haven’t been able to run because of pain in my ankle. Finally, this February, after exhausting all other treatments, I succumbed to having surgery.

It’s been five months since I went under the knife and I’m finally healed enough to start running again.

Ok, let’s be real –it’s a slow jog. But it’s a start back to a half marathon.

This morning, I woke up grumpy and decided a run was just what I needed to clear my head.

About twenty minutes into my run I had to punch lizard. He just would not shut up.

Before you report me to the animal welfare folks, let me tell you about this lizard. I’m sure you’ll agree after hearing my story, he deserved what he got.

You see, this isn’t any ordinary lizard.

First of all, he’s huge. I’d guess he’s at least 5 feet tall.

He is purple with spots and he always sports this sickening grin on his face. He has a nasty habit of rubbing his hands together and snickering.

He looks a lot like Randall from Monsters, Inc. actually.

And he follows me everywhere.

This nasty little beast represents my lizard brain, that ancient part of my noggin that is responsible for fear, anxiety and risk-avoidance.

Some people have a nice little devil and angel that sit on their shoulder and tell them what to do.

Me? I’ve got a freaking life-sized lizard.

This morning he was in rare form.

About five minutes into my run:

The Lizard: You know, you should stop. You’re going to reinjure your ankle.

Me: Shut up, Lizard.

A few minutes later…

The Lizard: Seriously, you should stop. What if you step in a hole and twist your good ankle?

Me: Shut up, Lizard.

Ten minutes into the run…

The Lizard: I’m worried. You should stop. You’re going to get tired and you are going to trip and hurt yourself.

Me: Shut up, Lizard.

Five minutes later…

The Lizard: Come on. Please stop. You’ve got a ten-day trip to three cities coming up. You can’t be injured for that!

Me: Shut up, Lizard.

Finally, at twenty minutes in, I’d had enough.

The Lizard: You are so tired. I can see it. If you stop now, no one will know. You don’t have to push so hard. Just quit. It’s easy.

Me: Shut up, Lizard!

That’s when I belted him one right in the kisser.

It was awesome! He got that dazed look like the Coyote when he got hit with an anvil. He spun around on his heels and did a face-plant right on the sidewalk.

And I kept on running.

It’s not the first time I’ve had to deck the guy.

He shows up all the time.

He tells me in sales calls, “Don’t price it too high or you’ll lose the deal!”

He taunts me when I’m writing, “What if they think your writing is crap? What if your marketing fails?”

He taunts me when I’m about to pick up the phone, “Don’t tell the client they should be doing something different? What if they get mad at you for bringing bad news?”

That tricky lizard tries to control everything I say and do. Sometimes he is smart enough to walk away after I give him a few choice words.

But when I’m doing something really important, he needs a punch in the face to shut him up.

I’ll bet you have a “lizard”, too.

How do you deal with yours? I’d love to hear your stories of perseverance in the face of doubt. You can share them below…


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  1. I have a gorilla on my back. He never utters a word but he sure grunts his displeasure with me. When he gets too noisy, I put my headphones on, any music I can think of to make him mad and then I don my sunglasses and leave them on until he leaves me alone. He hates my sunglasses, can’t see my eyes and he hates my choice of 60’s music.

    My coworkers and family ask why I leave my shades on and I tell them it’s my way of blocking negative rays that affect the way I see things.

  2. You wanna know something? You're the real deal. I'm beyond tired of all the self-help gurus who would NEVER admit they have a problem; they just go from zero to hero in 4 easy steps and "You can too!, "
    for only $1997.

    I have a lazy cat on my shoulder, and he loves to purr sweet nothings, like "why get all excited about this work," and "you know you'd rather be day dreaming." This cat is so clever that I have to channel my inner-dog aggression and bark at him, mostly while taking the wife's cocker spaniel for our morning walk.

    You know, writing about this admission is therapeutic; I'm going to go have a good bark now (I'm married to a psychologist convinced I'd make a good study on behavioral problems), kg

  3. Really good one, Laura! Of course, with that headline, I had to click through to read the rest. And yes, my lizard would make a great friend for yours! Seems the farther we go in our life, work and purpose, the bigger these guys get! Should be the other way around — the farther we go, the smaller they should be, just nosing about in the background. But, they seem to have that "keep you safe" button taped on and revving overtime!

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