Have you ever thought- ‘I wish I had that kind of motivation!’?

Me, too.

I hear I’m so motivated, a lot. There are a few people out there wishing they had half of my motivation. I’m quite happy to accept these comments as compliments at 4:00 in the afternoon. I feel super motivated then.

wake upBut come morning, it isn’t pretty. I’m no motivational poster child.  Here’s a little taste of what it actually sounds like inside my head in the morning –

“Ugh. Please let me have another hour to sleep…”  [roll over, look at phone – “crap.”]

“I think I really need more sleep.” [do math in head, realize I’ve slept for 8 ½  hours – “crap.”]

“Maybe I need more rest.  I should probably take another rest day. I didn’t have enough rest in my schedule last week.” [review previous week and recall that there were actually 2 rest days for recovery from so much dancing at 3 nights of Grateful Dead concerts – “crap!”]

“I have absolutely no interest in doing intervals this morning! I think I might need a break from training. Maybe I’m just burnt out. When was the last time I really took a break and did nothing? I think I need a break. Maybe I should just find something else?” [well, that doesn’t feel right either – sigh.]

“I’ll just catch up on Facebook and Instagram for a few minutes. “ [this is the most deadly of all the possible morning activities – 30 minutes of available workout time goes in a blink – and not like a decision – it just evaporates]

“Fine, I’ll make tea, but I’m not making oatmeal!” [such fierce protest – shuffle to kitchen. Jason’s already got tea steeping – jerk.]

“Fine, I’ll make oatmeal” [eat begrudgingly]

“I probably missed my window” [check phone – “dang.”]

one quality minute“How are you gonna feel at 4:00 this afternoon if you haven’t worked out?” [Sigh. Get dressed. Get water. Get on bike. Start moving pedals slowly around in a lifeless circle]

“This isn’t going to work. I’m not even in zone 1. This is awful!” [stop Garmin. get off trainer. adjust fan. sit back on bike]

“Just pedal and stop thinking.” [pedal, pedal, pedal, slow pedal, pedal more]

“I like this song.” [pedal, slow pedal, 10 minutes of  warm-up pass]

“You know better than to ask yourself if you want to workout in the morning. The answer’s always ‘no’.  Wrong question! It’s gonna hurt, you’re gonna be uncomfortable – of course your brain doesn’t want your body to do this. But this is how the body adapts and gets stronger. Have you ever regretted a workout once it’s done?… No.” [keep pedaling]

“Just do what you can do today. If it’s short workout – fine. Quality over quantity. Do 1 great minute of an interval; better than doing the whole thing half-assed. That’s it -1 quality minute.” [pedal up to zone 4. stay for 1 minute]

“1 more. You’ve got 1 more in you.” [pedal 1 more minute in z4]

This goes on until the first set’s complete.

You might imagine that I go into the second set inspired with renewed motivation.  Nope. The struggle isn’t as as bad, but I negotiate with myself down to only 10 minutes of the 15 minute interval.
When I get to 10 minutes and am certain I’m “put-a-fork-in-me done – I try for 1 more quality minute and then another and then another. I was fine with not finishing the set as long as each minute was good quality. I finish the set. It’s a good workout. Such a fuss, though!

Not all days are this challenging and some are worse. In the beginning, I didn’t win many negotiations with myself.  It’s not easy.

When I see updates from my friends and team mates doing amazing training – I admit – I wish I had half of their motivation. But I suppose we all have conversations like these. We all have to work hard to overcome our own style mental inertia. It just looks so effortless on someone else.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Jeff says:

    Absolutely! I don’t think I’ve ever jumped in the pool ready to swim 3,000-ish yards. It’s always, “Let’s get through the warm up and see where we’re going from there.” It’s a good thing people can’t read my mind. 🙂

  2. LizRichardson says:

    That’s EXACTLY what goes on in my head too. Though sometimes I don’t even manage to get on the bike. I persuade myself to ‘postpone’ until later then something else gets in the way. The mental challenge is enormous… bigger than the physical challenge a lot of the time.

    1. Alex says:

      I frequently hear that ‘postpone’ option in my inner dialog. So much that I don’t get fooled as much anymore – I talk back to that voice and say “either do it or don’t, cuz you know you won’t do it later” I try very hard to make the choice that will make my future self proud.
      It’s great to hear that I’m not alone in this
      inner dialog.

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