Motivation is a tricky little devil.
For some people, it lives in the scale.
For others, it lives behind the label on a prescription bottle of blood pressure medication.
And for others, motivation is in the eyes of your four-year-old nephew who wants to do chin ups off of your arm after playing football in the yard for an hour after an hour of snowboarding on X-Box Kinect and you don't want to tell him you're too tired to keep up.
When I was in junior high, I found motivation every time I watched Rocky. The story was cliche, but I thought it was magic. I’d watch the montage of Rocky chasing the chicken and sprinting along the river in Philly and the next thing I knew, I was out running hills in my rural Pennsylvania town.
Thank God my parents didn’t have chickens…
I feel fortunate that I’ve never really struggled with motivation to work out, even through long bouts of depression. For the most part, the high I got from exercise was always enough to get me out the door.
With an impending shoulder surgery less than two weeks away, I found myself re-racking my weights yesterday and thinking what’s the point? I’m going to train hard for two weeks only to put myself on the shelf for the next six, if not more. And no pep talk was going to get me fired up. I mean Knute Rockne could have marched right up to my face and given me his best win one for the Gipper speech and I'd have patted him on the head, thanked him for his time, and hit the shower.
That, to me, is how it feels to lose motivation. We all struggle at one time or another, which is why it becomes all the more important to understand our "why."
The reason behind your goals. Maybe you work out to lose weight, but what's the "why" behind that? Do you have an emotional connection to that why? What will happen when you lose that weight?
You'll fit into that dress.
And what will happen when you fit into that dress?
There are so many layers to motivation. It's like Shrek says - onions have layers, ogres have layers, and motivation has layers. Ok, he didn't say that, but hopefully you've seen the movie.
(And if you haven't seen Rocky.....just....I can't even...)
For the last few years, my biggest reason for working out is to get stronger. Ever since I started deadlifting and realized that I was actually capable of lifting weights, I've been addicted. I want to get stronger so that when I go home and my dad wants me to put his air conditioner in because I'm stronger than he his, I can.
But what happens after I get stronger? What's my why behind that?
Honestly I'm going to have to spend some time on that. Because for the next few months, I won't be able to work out the same way that I've been over the past few years. And it's going to suck.
But I'll try to embrace the suck.
And I'll be spending a lot of time brainstorming on my why.