Melissa wrote a great post today about motivation and it got me thinking — what motivates me?
Why the HELL do I wake up at 5am to torture myself? To whine and complain (in my head) that it’s too damn early, that’s it’s either too hot or too cold, and that I HAVE to run sprints/tempo/long run. Nobody is forcing me get up. Granted, if I didn’t get up I’d have “workout guilt” all day and no time to fit it in my schedule, but after a while that guilt goes away and I am lulled into a state of laziness.
On the surface my answer is – I just do it. It’s habit, it’s routine, it’s necessary for my sanity. And after it’s all said and done – I actually enjoy it about 99% of the time.
But I kept thinking about it – and I thought about how I describe running and what goes through my head when I’m on a run and it sounds HORRIBLE. It’s sounds whiny and ungrateful. BUT I LOVE IT. And yet, I dread it at the same time. Does that even make sense?
Sometimes I feel like I’m going to die – with a smile on my face.
I wake up (almost) every morning and it takes me maybe 10 minutes to tie my hair back, splash some water on my face, and throw some clothes it. It then takes me 20-30 minutes to convince myself that I want to run (or go to the gym). It doesn’t matter what I ate the night before, how many workouts I’ve skipped, or how much I WANTED and looked forward to the run the night before. It’s still a mental game. I spend 20-30 minutes checking my email, Facebook, and Twitter trying to talk myself into it. I finally get my Garmin on, make it outside, and then I take off. And it’s in those moments that I remember why I woke up in the first place and how much I love it.
It hasn’t always been this way – it actually used to take LONGER for me love the run. I would run a mile or even two to three and dread every single stride. I’ve said before that running is not natural for me – and it’s still not, but it something I’ve learned to love and it FEELS more natural. Even when I’m hurt or in pain – when I’m running I don’t always FEEL the pain. It’s easy to push to aside and tend to later. Sounds crazy, right?
So what keeps me motivated? It’s not racing, weight loss, or fitness (though those are all perks!). It’s purely intrinsic. It’s knowing that I can. It’s the freedom I feel from myself and the rush I get when I’m mid-run and the endorphins kick in. It’s escaping and it’s therapy. It’s knowing that people feel the same exact way as me and also continue to torture themselves over and over again because it hurts so good. I’m sure you’ve read/heard the saying “Running never takes more than it gives back.” It’s 100% true. Running ALWAYS gives back. It’s such a giver. You (and I!) just need to fight the natural inclination to say “I CAN’T DO IT.” You can do it. And it’s something I say to myself almost EVERY single day.
What motivates YOU to do what you do?
(Thanks Melissa for the inspiration!)