Friday, January 17, 2014

Motivate Me Baby

Some days are easier to find motivation than others.

Some days I jump out of bed ready to take on the day! I'm cooking, cleaning, doing my school work, making appointments, writing emails....knocking off each item on my To-Do list like it ain't no thang. Then other days....I lay in bed, ignoring the clock and spending far too much time on Netflix. My To-Do list mocks me from across the room as it glares me down with disgust.

Lately I've been thinking a lot about motivation, especially when it comes to physical fitness. The other day while at the gym, I was looking around the cardio room wondering what motivated these women to give up their Wednesday evening and spend some of it in a noisy room full of sweaty red-faced strangers. I'm not much of a fan of working out after work, but I hit the gym after my shifts because I want to avoid the horrible 2-6 pm traffic on the Trans-Canada highway. Sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic after working for 12.5 hours is far more dreadful than an hour on an elliptical. Far far more dreadful.

Obviously living a healthier lifestyle and avoiding some genetic diseases are my main motivations for going to the gym and exercising on a regular basis. I also have some injuries/physical ailments that really act up if I do not stay active. But I definitely remember the moment when I became addicted to lifting weights. A few years back I was in the washroom giving it a good cleaning and I bent over to pick a cloth off of the floor and caught my reflection in the full length mirror which revealed the outline of my deltoid muscles. Never had I ever had shoulder definition like that and seeing it made me want more, more, more! 

So back to my story of the cardio room last Wednesday night. What is the motivation pushing these women (most of them at least 40 or older) to leave their work or home to be at a gym? 

- Health scare?
- New Years resolution?
- Want to be able to run around and keep up with their kids? Grandkids? 
- More energy? More physical strength? Stronger bones? Less pain in the joints?
- Could it be part of a bet? Maybe she has a bet with a friend of who could lose 10 pounds first.
- Planning a trip to Costa Rica and the idea of wearing a bathing suit terrifies her
- She saw her grandma's Bing arm and immediately started tricep extensions
- Recently single and hitting the dating scene again
- She saw Jane Seymour's recent photo spread in US Weekly (did I mention she's 62?)

Whatever your motivation is to haul your arse to the gym, I applaud you. I know how hard it can be to keep motivated and keep with your exercise regime day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. I know how hard it is to just start and get there. I know how shitty it feels to leave a gym feeling like you have accomplished nothing and are wasting your time in your oversized sweats while all the thin chicks in their tight tights burn a million calories just by filling their water bottles and flirting with the ripped trainer. I get it.

While I was cooling down that evening, spending my last 5 minutes walking on the treadmill, the lady next to me really perked my interest. She would walk for a couple minutes then run for about 30 seconds (or so). After her 30 seconds she would slow down and grimace, almost like she was mad at herself for giving up so soon. I wanted to cheer her on! I wanted to tell her to keep trying and let her know that it will get easier. Soon she will last 45 seconds, then a full minute, then even 2 minutes! I wondered what her motivation was for even attempting those initial 30 seconds. 

Whatever your motivation is people, keep it at the front of your memory when you feel like throwing in the towel. Put the picture of your dream vacation destination on the treadmill or hang your bikini on the bathroom door so you have to look at it every time you go in there. Don't worry about what other people think or what you look like when you're working out. We all get sweaty, red-faced, trip over our own feet and stop to read the instructions on the machines. We all stared at the bottom and felt overwhelmed at our surroundings. I recently realized that I have, somewhere along the line, become one of those annoying people who grunt while lifting weights! While I am doing my best to curb this embarrassing habit, it's not going to stop me from lifting heavy weights. My motivation is in my deltoids and I'm not going to forget it.

You don't want to look back in a year and wish that you had started today. Find your edge, work within it and keep at it. You'll find that moment when you realize you're addicted and one day you'll be surpass the goals you set out for yourself.

Yeah he got his titles taken away for doping, but Lance Armstrong said it right:
"Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever." 

Sometimes you just need a Motivation Proclamation :)

1 comment:

  1. Ahhhh! Motivation Proclamation! High school summer flashbacks commence…now!