Today, I’m going to be all over the board, so try and keep up! First of all, it has been a looooooooooong winter! Maybe not too much snow or horrible weather, but certainly not very conducive to doing much outdoors either.
What seemed to make it long for me were just so many things going on – good and not so good. Visiting colleges for my son, getting bored of my workouts, no longer having a person very dear to me in my daily life, traveling and working a convention for work, buying a new car… and much more, added onto every other daily activity.
Lack of motivation… as I was doing the same Jillian Michaels workout every day for two weeks, I became totally BORED! Although, it was a good workout and short, there’s just something de-motivating about doing the same workout day after day. So, I switched to a great program from the suite of Men’s Health video workouts. This one is called “Delta Fit” or maybe it was “Speed Shred.” It is a series of 30 minute workouts that use “explosive” moves, in which the guy says it takes the place of cardio, plus has the benefits of body-weight assisted exercise. These are pretty difficult workouts, but they feel effective. Again though, I got bored with the same type of thing every day or even three times a week. I hadn’t been to the gym in about three weeks because I was doing these workouts at home instead.
All of a sudden I became extremely tired all of the time. All day and all evening. I figured it couldn’t be from my workouts or eating, because I didn’t change my eating habits drastically in any way. I figured I was just run down or fighting something off. So, one day I went back to the gym and did 30 minutes on the elliptical machine. Immediately after, I felt more awake and not as bored with things. After that, I realized that I did need cardio still and that the video workouts were not enough for my body alone.
What I learned was that we do need variety in our workouts. Don’t stick with only one workout day-in or day-out – you may get bored or un-energized or even demotivated enough to quick working out altogether. Mix up that cardio, workout DVD and gym machines to strengthen your entire body.
Another thing that wasn’t helping me stay motivated, was a lack of camaraderie or excitement with other people around me, who might have a similar interest in trying to stay healthy. A year or two ago, I had a whole bunch of work people and friends that became a community of support – for me AND them. It was awesome – just the right kick in the butt that kept me going.
Now, I’m hoping to have some sort of community again soon. At work, my department is lucky enough to be able to test out a program that will allow us to have coaches to help us obtain mind and body health goals. I can’t wait, because maybe that is just what we need to jump-start us again.
The Walking Dead… Sunday nights on AMC, the grossest, most violent and bloody show is on – and it’s awesome! I look forward to watching it with my 17 year old son (and dog) every week. I know I won’t have the exact quote right and maybe not even the correct people saying it, but in this past episode of the mid-season finale (no spoiler alert needed here!), I think it was Rick, the leader of the “good guys” who said something like, “We can’t do this alone any more…” and the tough-guy, Daryl replies something like, “We never could.” Whoa! Philosophy from the Walking Dead TV show!
That hits me on so many levels of my life, but to keep it related to this post, it means exactly what I was saying above with the community. Its so hard to do this alone. It is more difficult to try and eat healthier and try and be fitter without having others around you to help, motivate and carry you through the hard times or even just go through the journey together with.
I think a huge thing that will help with motivation is the Spring weather coming. We have had a few nice days and I began running a bit again. I also signed up for the Chicago Rock n’ Roll Mini Marathon (5K) on July 21st, to motivate me to run more again. Unfortunately, since I have not been running much at all this winter, I have lost a lot of my endurance and feel like I’m starting over again. So, I run for 10 minutes and walk for 2 and just keep doing that until I build myself up to running for a half-hour straight again.
I will end the post by sharing a photo that I took with my phone last year. It was the most motivational thing any one could know, that I needed right at that moment. I was about 3/4 of the way around the small lake I love to run around and was getting really tired. Just then, written on the path with chalk was the photo to the left. I know it was left for us who needed it, from a community of runners. They may never know that such a simple thing like that was actually a HUGE thing to me. So, thank you.
In the spirit of support, how about we all try and be the motivation we all need, for each other, in whatever way we can.
You never know who or what you do that may affect someone more than you expected.
–Yours in fun fitness, Mike