This has been a stressful year with lots of travel, job change, and family upheaval over my father’s dementia. There’s been plenty of times when I have just blown off exercising and struggled with the motivation. I’ve been in the process of turning the corner and the subject happened to come up at dinner with friends last night. One of them travels about twice as much as I do – and I travel a lot – and he asked me how I motivate myself and if I could write a blog about it. I laughed an told him that I’ve probably written at least one about that subject but that I’d do some brainstorming. Sure enough, I found a couple which were on topic. One was about Motivation, the other about how I owe myself being in shape. Still, the idea was in my head and came up on my morning road ride so here goes another idea.
About halfway through my ride, I was noticing that I felt a lot better than I did on a mountain bike ride a couple days earlier. That ride felt crappy. I had trouble sustaining climbs, focusing, and just plain felt out of shape. Today I was able to push myself more and actually could tell a difference. A lot of it’s mental and even though I sweat just as much on both rides, my attitude seemed to be improved. Overall, I think it was just relief at getting on a bike two out of three days. There was some traction to my desire to my efforts and nothing breeds success like more success.
As I was sweating my way down one hill and up the other side, I realized I was pushing harder and that it was due to a song on my playlist really kicking in. Sure it may be a little corny, but there’s just something about a good tune to give you that extra boost. It could be on a bike, lifting weights, running – just about anything. I need the commitment to myself to get me up and going when it’s easier to sit on the couch but I love what music does for me while I’m exercising. It may be the music itself, the lyrics, the beat, the energy, a screaming crowd, or all of the above – but it should piss you off or pick you up. My anthem this ride was Closer to the Edge by Thirty Seconds to Mars. I’m pretty sure it was playing in my head even when other tracks were coming through the earbuds.
Whenever I’m finding excuses which keep me from getting in shape, I look at my self-expectations, pick an anthem, and just do it.
What’s your anthem?