25 March, 2014

A few notes on Motivation and Willpower



Motivation and Willpower are qualities that don't come naturally to me. I'll be honest about that. Motivation and Willpower can be non existent in my life when it comes to exercise, getting sweaty and generally working towards improving my overall health. Take this morning for example, the gym bag had been packed the evening before, a healthy lunch sitting in the fridge ready to be popped into my bag and my gym gear laid out, ready to be worn.

The alarm sounded and the boy was quick to inform me that it was raining and pretty miserable outside. I groaned a little and groaned a little more at the thought of walking to the gym in the cold rain. Old Rebecca would have stayed in bed, slept for another 45 minutes and hit the snooze button on numerous occasions and then would have felt guilty for the rest of the day for not working out. I most likely would have promised myself that I'd start again tomorrow and then take comfort in a croissant or other fancy, French pastry. But that would have been ok, because I starting again tomorrow. 

This morning was different. After my mini groan and moan session, I asked myself a question. I asked myself "Do I have to get up and workout or do I get to get up and workout?" The answer was simple, I get to get up. I have the opportunity every single day to get up and do something with this body of mine. I am not inhibited by illness, disability or anything else closely related to that. I am able bodied, I am healthy and I should use it and use it well.

Now this little piece of inspiration didn't just strike me all of sudden this morning. In fact, I heard it while listening to Irish radio one morning last week. I didn't need to be in work until midday and so I enjoyed a leisurely morning, listening to Today FM, a slow breakfast and the dulcet tones of Ray D'arcy. On this particular day, I found myself listening to motivational speaker and marathon runner Gerry Duffy. He was providing a wealth of advice to those who had recently decided to sign up for a charity half marathon race being organised by the radio show itself. Numerous callers rang in and emailed their queries and Gerry together with Ray went through as many as possible. It was an interesting listen.

One potential half marathoner submitted a question about motivation and finding the will to run and train on the days they needed to do this. Gerry, a man who completed 32 marathons in 32 days and 10 iron mans in 10 days simply said "For me it's a case of, Do I have to run or do I get to run?". Mind.blown! He continued to say that over the years he has met numerous people who were not in the fortunate position of being able to get up and run whenever and where ever they wanted. As a result, those of us who can throw on some running gear, get out and run should appreciate how lucky they are. As soon as his segment was over, I threw on my gym gear and did one of my many 10k training sessions, just before work that morning. I don't have to convince you I felt a million times better for doing so and my day was much more productive.

This morning, when feeling like I would have much preferred to snooze a little longer, I asked myself that question once more. I quit the moaning, pulled back the covers and got going.

So, next time you're procrastinating on something, ask yourself
 'Do I have to [insert task here] or do I get to [insert task here]?'

image: Taken by my iPhone on Valencia Island, Summer 2013 and edited by me

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