Tag Archives: motivation

Finding Motivation through…Pinterest?

I feel like I was one of the last few people among my friends to jump on the Pinterest bandwagon. The last thing I thought I would need is yet another computerized distraction to keep me from getting real work done. That being said, I finally broke down and joined the pinning community. I had no idea I would find so many useful tips, tricks, quotes, or workouts to help with my training — or simply to get my butt off the couch and out the door!

Last Saturday, I was facing my first 6-mile run of this training program. I felt overwhelmed by my fear of failure. The little voice in my head was trying to talk me out of it. I was tired. I had an essay to write for class. The weather would be better the next day. All of these excuses flooded my brain as a result.

I was procrastinating, which is usually what happens when I’m faced with a challenge that I’m not sure I’m ready to tackle. I found myself browsing Pinterest, and wasting time. Thankfully, the fitness category was chuck full of motivating tidbits that managed to tune out the negative self-talk. Before I knew it, I was double knotting my tennies and strapping on my Garmin — ready for the challenge. Before I left the house, I grabbed a pen and wrote, “6-miles. Don’t quit and don’t stop,” on the back of my hand, just for good measure.

The first 3-miles seemed to breeze on by. I didn’t check my pace as I went, but instead listened for the beeping of my Garmin to tell me when I completed another mile. I thought that sneaking a peek might psyche myself out. By the last stretch, I could tell I was getting tired and my legs felt heavy. I was almost within view of my house, and kept up the pace. I rejoiced when I heard the final beep telling me that I had reached my goal for the day!

The sense of accomplishment was amazing. I can’t imagine what I will feel like when I cross the finish line in an actual race! I’ll probably laugh, cry, fall over from exhaustion, and be looking for a snack all at the same time.

I have to say, my attitude toward Pinterest has certainly changed. It may be a weird way to find motivation, but it worked for me that day and it has worked for me since. I guess anything to get me out the door!

The week after that infamous 6-miler was pretty easy, and this Sunday my long run was only 4-miles. But from here on out, the training will become more grueling and those 6-mile runs are going to feel like a drop in a bucket compared to what lies ahead. Can’t wait!

Have you found inspiration through “pinning”? 
 How do you get yourself pumped before a long run?
Do you get intimidated by new distances? 

I Run Because…

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Last weekend was my mom’s 50th birthday party, which I got to help plan. We kept it super casual and laid back. My mom has multiple sclerosis and isn’t able to do a whole lot anymore. The disease has progressed quite a bit over the last three or four years. Being home reminded me of a main reason why I initially started running.

My mom was diagnosed right after she got married, at the age of 23. Growing up, I would have never known she was sick because this woman was always doing something. Every morning she would run a mile or so and then do an hour of a Denise Austin workout video. I remember being a little girl waiting till she finished so I could watch cartoons! I had my priorities!

For the last few years, her legs haven’t been able to work. She can no longer walk and I know it kills her to not be active anymore. My mom always talks about how much she wishes she could run and she has refused to give up on that dream.

I remember thinking to myself (back when running still seemed like torture to me) that I wanted to run because I still could. I wanted to run because I knew my mom would love to have that ability again and if she couldn’t do it anymore, then maybe I could do it for her. I guess a part of me feels like if I stopped running, I would be wasting a gift that people like my mom would never take forgranted.

I think a part of staying motivated to lace up the tennies and hit the pavement (or the treadmill) is keeping mental notes of all the reasons why you’re doing it. There doesn’t have to be one singular reason. I have a bunch!

1. I enjoy food, a lot!
2. It’s a mental and physical challenge
3. I set a goal and I am determined to reach it
4. I relieve a whole ton of stress (especially now, during finals…yuck!)
5. I enjoy it

But my mom is always going to be the motivation that pushes me farther and gets me out the door. I hope one day they’ll find a cure for this disease and her and I can run together!

What are your reasons for running?

Rehabbing with the Troops

Wedding Day Bliss

Wedding Day Bliss

For those of you who don’t know, my husband was a combat medic stationed in Afghanistan.  We actually met while he was overseas.  I was working in another library and had heard that they needed care packages sent to help boost troop morale.  I put together a box full of books and snacks and hygiene products, but I didn’t want to send it anonymously.  My friend had been in Iraq and mentioned that they didn’t take anonymous mail seriously.  So, I randomly came across my now husband’s name online and sent the package to him.  He wrote back thanking me and we kept in constant contact for the next 6 months or so.  When he was finally sent back to the states he immediately flew to Wisconsin to meet me and my family.  We’ve been together ever since.

At Work in Afghanistan

At Work in Afghanistan

When he got back from being deployed, he was diagnosed with a Traumatic Brain Injury.  The right side of his body doesn’t work properly and for a while he couldn’t write his name.  From the outside you can’t really tell, but every now and then some symptom shows itself.  He wasn’t allowed to workout for the rest of the time he was in the Army because they felt that it might worsen the symptoms of the TBI.  He ended up putting on some extra weight and hasn’t been able to find the motivation to lose it.  We’ve bought all the workout equipment and every now and then he’ll get a boost of energy, but overall he just needs that team-like feel and extra support that he got while in the Army.

So just recently he was accepted into a program called Rehabbing with the Troops.  He has to do certain workouts and challenges along with other veterans while posting videos and blogging about the experience.  I’m very happy for him because he now has that brotherhood of support that was lacking and he’s truly excited about starting the program and getting in shape!

I’ll keep you posted on his progress as he goes!

More Reasons to Break a Sweat

Fitness Magazines.com had a cool article on the benefits of exercising.  We all know it’s good for us, but it’s always motivating to read more reasons why you should be doing it! So here’s a few:

 

Immediate Mood Boost – your body produces endorphines, seratonin, dopamine and norepinepherine which leave you feeling energized and stress-free

Fight Off Sickness – everytime you workout your immune system gets stronger because your body sends out special proteins that protect from infections

Lower Blood Pressure – working out keeps your heart healthy and lowers your blood pressure for almost an entire day

Keeps You Focused – increases oxygen and blood to the brain

You Live Longer – adding only 30 minutes of cardio to your schedule 3 days a week can add 6 years to your life

And the more obvious is… Your gain lean muscle and are will stay (or become) more slim and fit

 

My main reason for working out is always just because I love the way it feels to have accomplished something challenging.  I try not to have my main reason be for losing weight, etc. because all in all I just want to be healthy.  I don’t pay attention to the scale, I pay attention to how my clothes fit and how I feel overall.  I notice that if I miss a workout or eat unhealthy foods, I feel like crap the rest of the day.  Even my husband notices the difference when I don’t get my workout in.

Plus, I like to remember that this is the only body you get.  The body works so hard every day, your heart, your lungs and just to keep you going day in and day out.  I feel it’s the least you can do to sort of take the stress off of it.  You have to be good to your body so it will be good to you in years ahead.

Anyways, I love finding more reasons to keep up the good work and staying motivated!  Just thought I’d send you all some motivation as well.

 

To read the whole article from Fitness Magazine click below.

http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/motivation/get-started/power-surge-the-hidden-benefits-of-exercise/

 

The Snooze Button Strikes Again!

Between school and working two jobs, the mornings are the only time I’m able to get my workout in.  Ah..but as soon as I hear the sound of my obnoxious alarm ringing in my ear, I immediate hit the dreaded snooze button.  Sometimes I’m not even conscious I’ve punched it.  I’ll eventually look at the clock and think, “Crap! I’m not even going to have time to do a push up now!” I can’t tell you how many times my snooze has ruined plans of getting up early. There are just some mornings that I can’t even find the energy to fall out of bed.  I’ve thought about working out in the evenings, but by the time I get home I’m exhausted.  Plus, I’m pretty sure working out before bed keeps you from getting a good night sleep (or at least it’s harder to fall asleep).

Anyways, I’ve been having the battle with my snooze for the past couple days now.  I’m normally pretty good about lighting a fire under my butt and getting out of bed, but this morning was especially difficult.  I had a midterm today and wanted to get time in to study for that as well.  I woke up, but later than I had intended, so I had the choice of either studying or working out… obviously school won that battle.  Tomorrow will be the day I get back into the swing of things.  I’m actually positioning my alarm clock across the room, so I’ll have to get up anyways to turn it off and won’t be hitting it in my sleep.  I might even set it a few minutes fast, so I trick myself into thinking it’s later than it actually is.

I feel ridiculous having to even do all that, but I guess whatever it takes!  Like I said, I think I’ve just had so much going on between work and school that my motivation to get up early has left.  And maybe it wasn’t such a bad thing that I’ve gotten some sleep the past couple days.  My body probably needed a break and I guess it’s good to listen to your body.  I just can’t let that snooze button sabotage all my morning plans!