Monthly Archives: August 2019

BS On Motivation

I Call BS On Motivation. 

Raise your hand if you have felt the need to punch someone in the gut when they say, “You just need to motivate yourself!!”? 
Is it just me? No? Ok. Good. 

I want to just throw this out right now: The motivation fairy does not exist. Sorry kids. It’s just not a thing. Motivation isn’t something that you find on the ground, you supposed to get on Mondays, or when you wake up on January 1st. Motivation is just a word people use that makes us feel like we are missing something.      
                 “You aren’t motivated.” “You just need to get some motivation.”

It’s a joke. 

If I had a penny for every time I heard, “Can you just come to my house and pull me out of my bed and make me run? I cannot motivate myself to do it on my own.” I’d have enough money to pay for a cup of coffee. (Its actually a lot of pennies)

(I have a little secret if people didn’t pay me to run, I highly doubt I would run as much as I do. <-Fact)

Let’s change the word “motivation” to a “daily habit” because that’s the goal, right? To do something without thinking about it, like autopilot. But starting a habit, you’ll need some of that elusive motivation that doesn’t exist. So then we are back to square one. But there is hope. My trick is planting inspiration seeds in daily life that will lead to start or keep up my good habits and kick away bad daily habits, (like, for me, eating handfuls of chocolate chips when I go to the freezer).

Inspiration (Seeds) + Time sensitivity (Harvest) = Action (Growth)

Social Media: Who you follow on social media plays a part in your habits/motivation garden. People fall into a trap of following stars or people they cannot relate to and have unrealistic bodies that are unattainable or lifestyles that have been carefully manicured. Personally, I do not find that inspiring. I think following people who you can relate to, who inspire is much happier for your head and heart. We see ourselves in people that inspire us, who are real, and who light a fire in us. No offense Kardashians, but you do not light my fire. (Action: Go through your social media and unfollow 10 accounts that make you feel bad.)

Accountability Buddy: Real quick, think of someone who is there for you and supports and you can rely on. That’s a good start to a great accountability partner. Could be a sister, friend or husband. It’s the person who will not let you out of something if you don’t “feel like it”. Cause guess what folks, you never will “feel like” it. Make sure you can be there for that person. It’s an amazing partnership and it works! A training group also is a good start too! (Action: Write down one person you can ask.)

Non-negotiable events: Want to start running? Sign up for a race. Want to travel? Buy the plane tickets. Want to learn about something you love? Sign up for a clinic. The biggest time waster and pest is over-thinking the thing. Just sign up, and do it. It will all work out. Promise. (Action: Write down 1 thing you would like to try. You don’t have to be good at it, just try.)

There’s no better way to start right now. Now. Like now now!! GO!

Pain Tunnel

A year ago, in the hills of upstate New York, I was in a big van, talking to my new best friend Jennifer, who I just met for the first time in real life. We bounced and bopped around to all the 80’s music that was coming out of the radio. We had 2 hours to talk before we got to our destination and us shared stories about parenting, running, and what’s it’s like to be a bishop for an episcopal church. She was kind of expert on this since she was one, and I was not. We got back on the subject of running and training, and she was telling a story of one her triathlons and how the pain tunnel she was in was unrelenting. 
I casually asked her what a pain tunnel was like I knew what it was, but wanted to see if she knew. (I had no idea what she was talking about)

“You never heard of the pain tunnel?” 
“Well, no, I mean, no…no I haven’t.”
“It’s the hard part of the event, where you know, it gets hard.”

Oh, that pain tunnel. Yes, yes, I know that. I had never heard of it called that, and I actually thought it happened just to me. It’s the part of the race/run/event where I remember all the times I didn’t train and now regret. It’s about the time I am good at hating myself and cursing past Beth for what current Beth is going through. 

But when I had this vocabulary in my head, it all made sense, and maybe I should start thinking of ways to help me through these times besides cussing at my ghost of Christmas past. Especially when I do hard things, obstacles come up and need to be looked at, figured out so I can move past them. And of course, the parallels to everyday life are limitless. This is why I love running because of these life lessons. Here are some tips to help me get thought pain tunnels of running and life. 

Ask! Ask for help. Look up to see if someone who has been in the same boat can help you out.

Question: We all tell ourselves stories, and when the shit hits the fan and those stories are usually riding the same fan airflow. Some stories I have told myself before, and sometimes I still do are: 
 *I am too tired. *I didn’t train enough. *I always quit when it gets hard. *I hate running and everyone who runs. 
This is just your brain trying to win, and these stories are not true. 

Take A Break! Not stop altogether, but just take a moment so you can calm down, and see the problem from a different angle. Or maybe just check your body to make sure you have what you need. Maybe you need a drink of water, a walk break, or something to eat. Maybe all of the above. When you are tired and depleted, your brain will always win and then you turn into a toddler who is 5 days past on his nap and is on his 5th tantrum. I feel you, buddy. You’ll be ok.