changing the motivation

Here is a confession: over the last year and a half I have tried, numerous times, to get back into the physical shape I was in when I turned 30.

I have publicly declared my resolve, my fitness plans, my diets. I have have made running a commitment several times and occasionally succeeded. I have incorporated yoga and strength training. I have traded in the beer and donuts for vegetables and protein. Mostly. And despite all of this, I have not reached my goal.

While I can’t say for certain why I have never achieved this particular goal, I think I have an idea. I think it might be because the only thing at stake was change, and not a huge one at that. It would mean being able to easily run 20km instead of 8km. It would mean fitting comfortably into a size 8 instead of a size 10. A change, but not a huge one. And when the status quo isn’t that bad to begin with, change isn’t always the biggest motivator. At least it hasn’t been for me, as evident in my pant size and how much I wheeze at the 10km mark.

Well, last week I changed the stakes.

On January 7th I signed up for a 25km trail run on Vancouver’s  (incredibly mountainous) North Shore. This is serious. On January 7th I could get through a 10km run on road, but not much beyond that. I’ve got (less than) 2 months to increase my fitness big time. Change is no longer the unsuccessful motivator. Instead it’s the Dirty Duo race. It’s not embarrassing myself. It’s about finishing and not dying in the process.

I’m only 6 days into training for this and I already know it’s a motivation game changer.


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