So I don’t have much will power. I am terrible at self discipline. I’m inherently lazy and without motivation for most physical activities… After years and years of failed attempts of getting myself off the couch, I finally found the motivation I had lacked for so long… a reason for my exercise. This came in the way of running events. Signing up for that first half marathon a year ago kick started something I had lacked in my many attempts before… purpose for my activity. The word exercise was replaced with the word training… waking up and running mattered. The calendar motivated me… a target date for a race kept me honest… it kept me moving. Each step I run is for a reason.
What’s your motivation?
This has been a discussion point with some close friends I keep in contact with through chain emails. We don’t get much chance to see one another, but we keep on-going email chains going... and going… and going. Each one of these friends were high school athletes, me being maybe the worst athlete in the group. They were all football players and/or top tier wrestlers. Varsity lettermen that excelled in sports. I wrestled, but I can’t say I was very good… average at best. Anyways, our group of friends have grown older and wiser… definitely older. We’re hitting our late 30’s and most of us have come to accept the fact we will never feel like we did back in the day. Even the way we look… although some seem much further removed from our glory days than others, still we all know time is not our friend. We’re obviously not that old by any stretch… just aging… but with that age comes the difficulty to motivate ourselves against our own personal and professional obligations. But one of our friends, who we’ll call “Joe” is trying to practice what he calls “tough love” with our friend, who we will call “Sam”.
Joe was slightly overweight for several years until he found weightlifting. And not just weightlifting in the gym, but power lifting. Outside of the health benefits, he found a very real and measurable way to keep himself motivated… the weight he could lift. Just like in my running, he developed a schedule and stuck with it. Week after week, and month after month he dedicated himself to keeping this obligation. It became part of his normal schedule. Joe is succeeding because he doesn’t measure his success by what he looks like, but by how much he can lift and by how many times. The weight loss and health improvements are simply the benefits of what he is doing. Now, with his newfound love of this active lifestyle, he’s trying to get everyone on board… namely Sam. Sam acknowledges his need to be more active, primarily for health reasons, but he also has an inherent desire to be active because he was a star athlete in high school. The problem is finding that motivation or passion and keeping it. Unfortunately, Sam has to find his own motivation… otherwise, the exercise program will be just that… an exercise program that will be short lived. One man’s passion is another man’s chore…
What will keep you going?
I look forward to my runs… I’m beginning to truly enjoy my bikes… I tolerate my swims. Training for my first triathlon is tough… training for my first marathon in tandem is tougher. I know, it doesn’t seem smart… Some people think I’m crazy for taking on both… maybe that’s what I like about it. I was on the couch a year ago… today, I can proudly say I lead an active lifestyle. What keeps me going? Knowing my body and mind can do more than I ever gave it credit for…
You can do this too!