The lovely purple and sparkly poster has worked for THREE days in a row now, folks. I think we’re on to something here: Brain trickery. For some reason, girls with hot bodies taped to my mirror was not motivation enough for me to get into shape but having a pretty sign right in my face with reminders of what I’m supposed to be doing each day is. Whatever works, I guess. This got me thinking about motivation…
My dad was a fitness trainer my entire life, but I still tended to have a fear of anything remotely athletic. I hid in corners in gym class, reluctantly attended swimming, tennis and racquetball lessons as a child (did not sign myself up, that’s for sure) and was often the target of mean boys at recess in vicious games of “Red Rover” (*side note: I still SWEAR that I am the bull’s eye of “adult red rover” in crowded spaces. Everyone pushes me around!!!). The worst was seventh grade volleyball when I was on the C team (we had AA, A, B, and C) and I didn’t even start! I came off the bench! *sigh* But all of that aside, there still came a time in my life when I realized that exercise was important, not only for your health but also for your own self-esteem. This time of life was college when alcohol and naps made us all fat. Since the confidence destroying days of volleyball AND the lazy beer guzzling college fun, I have run three half-marathons thanks to my family, who created the new tradition of running annually together. Who would have thought? I now understand that the sense of team is what gets you through the task sometimes. I also realize that running can be uber boring and not fun at all!! 😦 So, I decided that since not everyone is as enthusiastic about working out as my dad (myself included), I would put together a list of ways to get yourself motivated:
1. Team spirit: It helps A LOT to have a group or a partner for exercise. You push each other and give each other that positive reinforcement we all need. Or join an actual team! I’m sure your office has a softball league or something similar, right?
2. Brain trickery: Perfect example is my purple sparkles that remind me to be pretty (sad). Find that thing that works for you. Brain trickery can also include imagination in general. Sometimes when I’m at the end of a run, I pretend that I’m an anchor of a race and my team has the lead and it’s up to me to finish first and that really buff jockey guy is gaining on me!! Either that or I pretend some creap is chasing me and I usually get home faster that way.
3. Presents: My dad used to give out sugar free popsicles after his Friday circut training classes and that was your reward for the week. Give yourself a treat at the end of the week as well, but ONLY if you earned it and keep it semi-healthy.
4. Mix it up: Of course exercise will be boring if you do the same thing every time! Do something different every day if you have to but make sure to stay active.
5. Fun Fitness: The thought of working out can be excruciatingly boring. Keep your fitness fun with trapeeze or circus classes (like I did HERE), hula hooping (you can get weighted hoops or hoop videos HERE), homemade obsiticle courses, dance lessons and paddle boating, to name a few.
6. Scenery: Besides family support, the main thing that always got me through the half-marathons were that we did them in the Black Hills of South Dakota (my home turf). The scenery was beautiful, with hills, streams and the smell of fresh air. Mentally, I think having a good view is key. So hike in the hills, run around the lake or do yoga in the park!
7. Think about the end: You know you will feel SO much better afterwards and awful if you don’t. Never imagine the beginning of a workout, always picture the finish line.
8. To steal from Nike: “Just Do It.” ’nuff said.
Alright kids, bikini season prep starts NOW! Good luck and have fun! 🙂