I am sitting in front of my computer, and I am stalling. I need to go for a run this morning, and I don’t want to leave my house. I am doing everything I know how to do to burst through this incredibly annoying tendency that my body/mind/spirit has. It wants to be lazy! It wants to relax and take it easy. Even though I am having a hard time getting out the door, I put on my running clothes, I put on a visor, I got my ipod ready… now I just have to put on sunglasses and lace up my shoes…
aaaaaand…. she’s off… like a thundering herd of turtles.
I constantly struggle with self motivation. Given my not so distant past and complete and utter failure at self motivating, this issue, and how to overcome it, is ever present on my mind. The running thing for me can get really ugly in my head. I am not a natural. I do not get a runner’s high. It mostly hurts… Okay, well that is an excuse, because that part IS getting better. Still, I often struggle. Today, these are the things I had to do to get myself out the door. I left behind all pace monitoring devices. No Map My Fitness, no Runtastic, and no Heart Rate Monitor. I gave myself permission to do an intuitive workout. (I do a lot of speed intervals, but today, this is what I needed to do to motivate myself to leave the house). I gave myself permission to turn around at the half mile mark. It got me out the door.
Once my body was moving, I fell into a natural rhythm and I actually felt pretty good. I reached the half mile mark and knew that I wanted to keep going. I allowed myself to jog/run/plod at whatever pace I wanted. Of course, when a vehicle would drive past me, all bets were off, and I ran like the wind… I imagined that I was an Olympian going for gold… I saw myself reaching the finish line (cue the theme music from Chariots of Fire)… and as the car zoomed on out of sight, I slowed my pace (gasping and trying not to vomit) and jogged to recover. (Doesn’t everybody do this? Isn’t it listed somewhere in the runners’ code?). Seriously though, the times during my run today that I wanted to stop and walk were numerous. I had to play mind tricks with myself to keep running. My self talk goes something like this, “Okay, if you just run up to that next tree, then you can walk for 15 paces.” I ran to the tree, and then realized that I still felt good, and so I kept running. “When you get to the half way turn around point, then you can walk for a minute.” I got to the turn around point and felt good, so I kept running. I use this technique constantly when I am doing something that I perceive as difficult. Just a few more reps, just a few more steps, just a few more glides, just a few more paddles… and then I can rest. It is an amazing thing to watch as “the few” turn into the many. Before I know it, I am no longer counting steps, glides, or strokes. I am running, I am skiing, I am kayaking. I am “in the groove”, and it feels amazing.
So my workout for today is completed and I feel amazing. I can scarcely believe that I was balking at leaving the house. It is ALWAYS this way. We’ve all seen the “memes”, I really regret that workout, said nobody ever! It has gone viral not for its creativity, but for its truth.
5 mile run
300 body weight squats
200 body weight alternating lunges
I can find a hundred and one excuses for not exercising. Ignoring the hater in my head, the liar who tells me I can’t, and the lazy ass who wants to wallow on the sofa, is not only essential to my success, but it is my biggest challenge.
I know that there are people out there, athletes, who do not appear to struggle with motivation. I am not one of them. Not only am I not a “natural athlete”, but I have to fight for every single mile, every single pound, and every single inch. I can only hope that my struggle might just light a tiny little flicker of hope in another kindred spirit. I am nothing but a supremely stubborn and very ordinary person. If I can do something, then so can you. You just have to want it. Today, I want it. How about you?