Motivation’s Opposite

If yesterday was all about how we stay motivated to be consistent in our workouts, today is the exact opposite.

It’s been a week. I had appointments all lined up, new clients no-showed, others were late. Some showed up when they didn’t have appointments. It’s just one of those weeks where you have to laugh and roll with flow. Now it’s Friday and I’m not motivated. It’s humid out. I feel tired. I almost stepped in dog poop in the front yard (that wasn’t from my own dogs). Blah, blah, blah. Its ironic that when I don’t feel like doing something, I can find all the reasons excuses why skipping it would be “justified”. Some days are just like this. “Workout, I’m just not that into you.”

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But, I don’t give myself a choice in this. I know I will feel better after, so just stop taking selfies and go workout already! That’s what I did.

But…

Half way through the run I see very ominous looking clouds. “Sure feels like rain,” I told the dogs. (Yes, I do talk to them. Yes, out loud.) “I’m sure we’ll make it home before it really picks up.”

Drip, drip, drip.

Nope. Didn’t make it home before the rain. What started out as a light sprinkling in a matter of seconds became a big ol’ fat Texas downpour. My poor dogs. Buck was especially displeased with the sudden change of weather. We were also on the trail by my house, which means the soft dirt quickly became slippery mud. With every step I gained a half inch in height due to the accumulating muck on the soles of my shoes. At this point I just have to laugh because how else should a week like this finish?! Soaking wet, we trudge home both dogs shooting me irritated looks.

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Although you can’t tell, I’m soaked through and I’m dripping from my ball cap!

It’s just one of those days. After I showered, my phone buzzed with a client requesting to reschedule today’s appointment because her child is sick.

Again, I have to laugh. It’s gonna get better.

It always does.

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Our Swelfies

Anyone that’s read this blog or (knows me in real life) knows that I LOVE accountability when it comes to fitness! What started out as a fun idea to take sweaty selfies and keep each other motivated to workout and be consistent has since turned into many things.

It’s often more than just physical. It’s more than just a workout photo. It’s been an accountability measure – a way to stay in touch in a Navy life that sent us to opposite sides of the world. It has kept us connected. It’s also morphed into a few years of snippets and snapshots of our lives. Sometimes it’s celebrating the new pants or kicks we purchased, how much sweat we are now dripping with, or even that glass of wine that we wanted to share, if only virtually. It’s husbands along for the ride, kiddos and fur babies getting into the workout, shoveling snow for days. It’s “Hey! Look at my workout space!” and “It’s a crappy day.” Even our spin peeps, running friends and clients have gotten in on the action! “Look at the necklace you gave me – I’m wearing it to my spin interview!” It doesn’t matter time of day, whether or not we have make up on (rarely!) or how “posed” the picture looks. It’s just a selfie. That’s sweaty.

And so much more..

I’m proud to say that Katy is not only my mil spouse sister, but my battle buddy! These pictures are just a small portion of the way we support each other. Accountability partners are key if we are to have any sort of success with life change; we need people in our lives that help hold us up and keep us to the standards we set for ourselves.

I love you Katy!

Everyday.

I’m in the middle of a fight. A bad one. She shows up and challenges me. She thinks it would be much nicer, more convenient to just take a day off.

“Relax,” she says. “Come sit in the sun with your pup and just sip coffee for a while…oh, you could read your book! How long has it been since you read a really great novel?”

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I would love nothing better. “I am kind of tired…,” I think.

“Do some writing,” she offers. “That’s doing something. Practice mindfulness. Just be. You know this time is yours to do with what you want. You can do anything you want with this time – and no one will know.”

“But, I’ll know,” I counter.

“Mmmm, leftovers in the fridge…they would be tasty. Another cup of coffee, love?” Distractions are her gift. “How about a quick message or two on Facebook? Ooh, hey. Let’s get some ideas from Pinterest!”

“I really should get moving. I always feel better when I do. You know, I’m doing this 100-day streak thing. I’d hate to quit when I’ve got such a good flow going. I’m on day 38, that’s almost halfway there…”

“Whatever. You know nobody cares about that crap! So you’re the ‘fitness-loving-type”? That’s just a label. Don’t let people label you. You can do whatever you want. One day won’t make a difference.”

“But I feel it makes a difference. I know it makes a difference. I feel better physically. I release endorphins that make me happier, and definitely more pleasant to be around. I’m more patient when I take this time to actually move. I crave it. It keeps me from feeling anxious and depressed, too. Movement helps me sleep better at night.  And maybe, just maybe, there might be someone out there struggling. If I keep pressing on, maybe that gives someone else the motivation to do the same.”

“Okay. Fine. I’ll chat with you tomorrow…”

And back she comes. Every. Single. Day.

Here’s to defeating my inner sloth yet again….

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Day 18

I’m about to head out on my 18th consecutive day of running. My niece over at Hanging By a Thread was inspired to run a 100-day streak. What this means is that you run at least a mile each day for 100 days. No excuses, find the time, or carve it out if you have to, every single day.

With both minions at school for three hours, finding the time hasn’t been too difficult. My alone time has become my workout/running time. What has been difficult is my own head. Some days I get up and am ready to knock out my miles for the day. The last few days – not so much. I’ve felt crappy (the start of a cold) and I (insert whine here) just don’t wanna!

To run 100 days consecutively is the goal I set for myself. Mostly just to see if I can do it. (Plus it helps with my other goal which is to run 500 miles by year end). If I am the one who set these goals, why the heck do I not get out of my own way and just go do it?! Why must I bargain in my head “oh, who cares.”, “You know, you really should rest.” Or “if you’re getting sick (barely sniffles) running may not be the best idea”. Even now as I type this I am procrastinating. Why?!

I think that’s part of the exercise. For 100 days – we have to eliminate the excuses. Get it done no matter what. Battle the sloth inside no matter how convincing she is. (And yes, sometimes she is really good at her job!)

Even when you don’t really want to…
Even when you are tired…
Even when the house could stand to be cleaned…
Even when there’s laundry to fold…
Especially when the couch is inviting, or the bed… Or the bathtub….
Even when you’d rather sit and type a blog post first…

Just run.

And that, my friends is what I shall do! The path awaits!

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How About It?

How about we all just stop for a minute.

I am a “Fan” and “Like” various fitness groups on Facebook and read a few fitness and running blogs on a regular basis. Heck, I even write for a fitness blog. But I’m more and more discouraged about the negative tone of what I’ve been reading lately. Pinterest abounds with pins of models posing all greased up next to barbells with the caption: “Strong is the New Skinny”. What I want to know is – have we traded one ideal for another? How about we celebrate what OUR bodies can do? Instead of comparing ourselves to the models on magazine covers, how about we stop striving to look like anyone but the best version of ourselves? Wouldn’t it be better to ditch the scale (which isn’t a complete picture anyway) and focus on the amazing things of which our strong bodies are capable? Could we stop looking for instant fixes in the forms of pills and boxes? Why don’t we shift the focus from simple vanity and looking this way or that way, to teaching our kids health? Let’s teach our kids health in the complete sense of the word: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual; not just obsessing over numbers and exercising compulsively.

I saw this today:

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Words have power. They carry weight. (Yes, pun intended.) I don’t know about you, I think there is enough negative crap thrown at us in terms of body image, what we SHOULD look like, what we SHOULD do, and how we SHOULD do it – I don’t need this kind of “motivation”. I find this disrespectful and negative. How about we ditch the name calling and the bullying – of ourselves. Yes, it’s supposed to be humorous, and light-hearted, but at the end of the day – I am always more inspired and motivated by truth, honesty and positivity.

How about we try some of these words instead:

Accomplishment

Goals

Achievement

Pride

Exhilaration

Joy

Breathlessness

Passion

Integrity

Compassion

Truth

How about it?

The Real Test

We all have days (weeks, months) that we just aren’t that motivated. Often I am motivated to work out and do what needs to be done ONLY because of the feeling after the fact. I know I’ll feel great once I work out. I know I’ll feel better if I just get off my butt and get the kitchen cleaned (laundry, dishes, oil changed, whatever is on the to do list). It’s the completion reward. As the saying goes:

Perhaps the real test isn’t doing a thing like losing weight or running a marathon while fully supported and surrounded by others doing the same thing.

Perhaps the real test is when you have to use what you know to once again climb out of the hole without support, or with a different support system. When I work out in my garage, no one knows if I’m phoning it in or not. No one ever will.

But I do.

Perhaps the only accountability any of us needs is ourselves. Being honest, kicking our own butt. Every day.

This to me is strength defined.