This is the time of year that can be the most challenging when it comes to finding the motivation to exercise.
It’s cold. It’s dreary. Your bike is in the river.
(That’s not my bike, but you get what I’m saying.)
Here’s a little ditty that has nothing to do with bike riding, unless you like to ride for exercise in the winter. Then this can have everything to do with bike riding.
I was laying in bed the other night re-reading Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. I get to a part where she’s talking about endorphins (you know, the hormone that’s released when you’re in love, have a good laugh, orgasm, give birth without meds or after a run) and suddenly, I really missed running.
Now of course I know that running will be there for me when this baby makes his or her debut in mid June, but still. Reading about endorphins made me long for that ridiculously happy feeling I often get around the 35 minute mark during an average run.
Before I could throw myself a pity party, I read the next line that really made me think:
Endorphins give us that feeling of pleasure that comes with a job well done or a work-in-progress.
That’s when it occurred to me that I DO feel good when I get back from a walk or after a little time at the gym on the elliptical or the treadmill. Maybe that post-exercise euphoria isn’t quite as intense or as obvious as it is after a run, but I don’t ever get back from some form of exercise and regret that I made the effort to find my left sneaker that went missing and got myself out the door.
So really what it boils down to is struggling with the feelings you might have BEFORE you exercise. That’s when you need a reason to get up and get out and get moving.
My reason right now? I loaded The Hunger Games onto my iPod and I can’t wait to get out there tomorrow morning and get back into it. Until recently, the only thing I knew about this book was that everybody and their brother seems to have read it and there’s a movie coming out next month that has generated all sorts of hype.
I’m only three chapters in and I already understand the hype. It’s really good.
Your “reason” could be anything. Maybe you’re trying to lose weight. Maybe you simply want to feel healthier. Maybe you’re hoping that regular exercise during your pregnancy will make child birth really fast and easy. (ohpleaseohpleaseohplease!)
The secret here? Finding your motivation is even easier when there’s something really, really specific you’re after.
Put a race on your calendar. Get really precise with that number you’d like to see on the scale or printed on the tag of your jeans. Find a messed up post-apocalyptic book that makes a 40 minute walk fly by in a snap. Anything like this should totally do the trick.
Find your reason. That’s where you’ll find your motivation.