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What Gets You Through?

motivation-585Motivation fascinates me. It’s always astounded me how the right words from the right person at just the right time can take me to a completely new level. I can run faster, push harder, hold that pose a few seconds longer. I can just do better.

Of course, it totally works the other way, too. I can be a bit of a head case, and while I can take a trainer or coach yelling and pushing, the wrong yelling or pushing can put my performance—not to mention my emotions—straight in the crapper.

Since I’ve gotten older and done more workouts and training alone, I’ve had to come up with ways to give myself the boost that I might otherwise get from someone else, and, since these are the things that motivate me, I thought I’d share and see if any of my little thoughts or mottos might help out any of you!

Calling on My Fitness Motivation

1. Picture this. I picture people I love standing over to the side, cheering me on and bragging to those around them that I’m their daughter/granddaughter/wife/friend. Even if I’m really struggling, I don’t want to let them down, especially in front of their friends!

2. Put yourself in another person’s shoes. I think about the people who can’t do whatever it is I’m doing and how, even if I don’t want to finish my run/swim/rep for myself, I’d damn well better finish for them. Sometimes I picture friends or family members who used to be active and now are not, or even those who are no longer with us. Sometimes I think about people I know who are stuck at work, or living somewhere frozen and snowy or who otherwise just can’t exercise outside. And sometimes it’s a little more general, and I just try to take the energy that’s being put out there by the people who would love to be running and use it to fuel my run.

3. Motto it up. I repeat a motto that was inspired by an interview I did a few years ago with Self magazine editor-in-chief Lucy Danziger. “Smile. You’re lucky to be here.” It really stuck with me because, yes, I am generally lucky to be wherever I am, whether I’m running from home in my nice, safe neighborhood, biking some nearby trails, or taking a jog on vacation. And, even more than that, I’m lucky that my body is allowing me to do whatever I’m doing. How fortunate am I to be healthy enough to train for a race or attend a high-impact class? It might hurt at the time, but it would hurt a whole lot more to be told I can never do those things again.

So, of course, now I’ve gotta know. What runs through your fit bottomed brain when you want to quit but know you should push through? —Kristen

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