I started a fitness challenge two weeks ago. No, let me rephrase that. I signed up for a fitness challenge two weeks ago. I have yet to truly start.
The problem is that after several months of regular and committed exercise, I am now in arguably the best shape of my life. Don't get me wrong -- I am far from being a superb physical specimen. In fact, I have plenty of personal fitness goals that I have yet to reach. Like running a marathon. Or bench pressing my body weight. Or doing a proper push up.
But overall, I feel stronger, faster and healthier than I have in years. And sometimes, when you feel like you've reached a high point, it's really tempting to sit back and relax and enjoy the view.
So in the weeks surrounding the Easter holiday, my motivation to work out was rapidly and easily replaced by motivation to drink wine and gorge on Easter chocolate and chill. After all, isn't the point of exercise to enable us to splurge on treats without also having to splurge on larger pants?
The problem with indulging in a bit of lethargic gluttony is that it is really, really hard to stop. Because gluttony begets gluttony. And sloth begets sloth.
So its not surprising that nearly a week after Easter weekend -- and two weeks into my fitness challenge -- I was still hanging out waiting for the motivation to exercise to return. Until it finally dawned on me that this isn't how motivation works. It doesn't just randomly show up, nor does it answer to your beck and call -- at least not always. Sometimes, a lot of times, if you want to find motivation, you have to get off your butt and look.
So I changed into my stretchy clothes. And laced up my sneakers. And stepped onto our elliptical machine. I cranked up my music, loud enough to drown out my inner whiner and angry enough to entice my inner fighter, and I went to work.
I ran for 30 minutes. I imagined myself moving smooth and fast like a cheetah, though I'm sure I was slow and choppy, like a tortoise with a bad leg. But I did it. And it doesn't matter how I looked, because when it was all said and done, I felt great.
I felt fantastic.
And I felt motivated to do more.