One would think that taking a career break (ie: being unemployed) means that it must be so much easier to stick with a training plan, and that having lots of free time means more time spent at the gym or out running…. getting that amazing body you’ve always dreamed of, because now you have the time to dedicate to it…
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but:
I have a calendar mounted on my wall as a visible reminder that I need to get off my ass and go for a run, cross train, or even rest. I’ve scheduled fitness into my life for a 15-week period in preparation for the New England Half Marathon. While I’ve done pretty darn well so far, I won’t lie…
IT. IS. HARD.
It’s hard to wake up before the sun rises for a workout, knowing that you don’t have to. You’re just doing it out of habit, or for cooler temps, or to meet up with your gym buddy who still has a real schedule. Or to get your workout done early so you can get on with your day.
It’s hard to spend more than 30 minutes at the gym, because the gym is so horribly boring…
… or because there are so many free weights and machines you could be using, but a warehouse room full of them is effing overwhelming and makes you want to sit down in the middle of the floor and cry. (Or is it just me?)
It’s hard to justify spending money on fitness outside of the gym (yoga, dance, rock climbing, etc) when there’s no incoming source of income, and you’re paying $30/month for the gym membership you already have (and that’s the reduced rate!).
It’s hard to get motivated to go for a hike to get some fitness and nature going at the same time. Just picking the right clothes and packing lunch can feel like summiting Everest…
… then there’s the fear of picking a trail way harder than expected and shredding your legs to the point of creating a painful run the next day. Ugh.
It’s hard to get excited about long run Saturday when your body is still mad at you for last long run Saturday.
It’s hard to schedule other activities around your training schedule. Like when you decide to do a Women’s Adventure Weekend with the AMC, only to realize that you’re due to run 11mi that Saturday. Do you move the long run to a different day? Do you keep up with the rest of your training and move that long run to a different weekend?…
… what about the weekend when you’ve double-booked your weekend to run 10mi on Saturday, and then the Halfway to St. Patty’s Day 5K on Sunday. Perhaps not a big deal for serious runners, but for newbies? #planningfail
Image Credit: Disney Wikia
It’s hard to spend more time on fitness when that same time could be used for education and networking…
… or working on updating your resume for the people you’ve been promising it to. For weeks.
It’s hard to get excited about eating clean, or eating LESS, when you spend so much time sitting around thinking about food…
… and when you blow it and order the crispy chicken sandwich, fries, and Diet Coke at Burger King and eat the entire thing on the couch in front of the opening credits of an episode of True Blood, you feel like your internal organs are at war with each other, and no one wants to run with GI issues.
Image Credit: Daily Mail
It’s hard to give a crap (hah!) that the adulting doesn’t get done when it’s supposed to, until it results in a lack of appropriate attire for a scheduled morning run.
It’s hard to stay motivated. It’s REALLY HARD to stay motivated! I recently had a morning where I failed to do laundry over the weekend and didn’t have any clean sports bras to wear when I got up to go run. So I went to my friend’s house to do laundry, and when I brought my stuff home I had all these big plans to go for the 50min run I was scheduled for. Instead I folded my laundry, Instagrammed about it all being spandex, put it away, took a shower, changed into more spandex, and headed to Barnes and Noble to drink a soy hot chocolate and read magazines I had no intention of paying for. When I finally got home again later that afternoon, I could only muster a 25min run. The fact that I even managed that still surprises the hell out of me. Because running in circles (or, squares) around your neighborhood just isn’t that fun sometimes.
Mind you, 25 minutes and two miles is better than zero minutes and zero miles!
I’m not feeling guilt over here – just frustration that I couldn’t even manage to pull it off and #JFR for the entire 50min. The only thing getting in my way was myself.
My friends often comment that they’re so impressed by how much I work out. I guess it must seem like a lot (especially for the friends who don’t work out), but really… it could be so much more. I’m just not motivated enough.
Isn’t that funny?
I’m motivated enough to do the bare minimum so I can check the days off on my calendar as complete, but I’m not motivated enough to do more.
But let’s be real: I am awake early enough to see some of the most beautiful sunrises that I wouldn’t get to see if I stayed in bed. I get to see beautiful scenery when I’m out on the trails. That in and of itself is actually pretty motivating.
Does life get in the way of your training? Do you struggle with motivation? What do you do to keep yourself moving forward?