I’m curious, what motivates you to get out of bed early to run, or head to the gym when you really want to curl up on the sofa, or eat a healthy meal when it’s easier to grab takeout on the way home?
I was thinking about this recently. No, not so much about what motivates you but rather what motivates me. It’s been different things at different times depending on the goal I’ve set. for instance, when preparing for the team 24hr Mtb race several years ago, I was real keen to get out and ride. The triathlon was easy. If I didn’t eat, sleep and train well then I was going to blow up on the race and regret it for weeks. I didn’t want to regret it. I was then training in cross fit for awhile and competing against some of the other blokes in the gym was motivating. Mostly ego, but it got me moving nonetheless. Most recently I was rapidly approaching 40, (funnily enough I’m now only 36???), and wanted to make sure I was in great shape for that milestone (yeah, yeah, insert something about mortality, mid-life crises here), on top of that Kirt and I were heading off for 10 days skiing and wanted to be fit for that. Not to mention we needed to fit into our old ski gear. Oh, I forgot one bit. I was also seriously motivated by the fact that neither my work pants or shirts were fitting comfortably (in some cases at all) anymore.
So anyway, 40 has come and gone. I managed to contain the typical holiday blowout and I’ve been training and eating well since my return. I’m keen to see my measurements next actually. But my problem is that I don’t really have anything to train for right now. No races, no competition, no holiday, nothing. Tony and I discussed preparing for a body building comp but that’s not really my scene so decided not to do that. I know the UFC fighter is my ultimate athlete so there’s a bit of that in my motivation and I have recently joined a boxing gym to get my cardio in on some pads, bags an maybe a bit of sparring (I’m looking forward to that actually). I’ve been a bit slack on my cardio lately. I’ve not been for a run in ages and shudder at the thought of trying to do anything more challenging than a slow 4km shuffle. Hard to believe that I have managed a 41min 10km and a 19min 5km, both in races after a swim and bike ride to boot!! Have you noticed that? That it’s hard to get [back] into something you used to do, and probably really enjoy, because you’re no longer as good as you were (or thought you were)? I do it all the time. I wonder what’s up there???
Anyway, I digress. I was talking about motivation. I think at the heart of it I want to be the fittest, healthiest, leanest, most muscular version of myself as I can be while not occasionally sacrificing late nights, booze, bad food, or even just too much good food etc. Not a very clear source of motivation but right now I’m in the zone and it, or some version of it, seems to be working for me. Not sure how I got here because I originally thought I was going to be talking about vanity or ego as a source of motivation. I want to look good. I want to be healthier than the majority of my peers. Primitive right? It’s all about the male animal comparing itself to and competing with its ‘rivals’.