Friday, April 16, 2010


Lately I've heard a lot of people people asking how to stay motivated to keep up an exercise program. Clearly maintaining motivation is a challenge for many people, regardless of their fitness level. Mid December to the end of January my beloved YMCA is overrun with the resolutioners who want to lose a few pounds, tone up, or get back into their skinny jeans. However, it never fails that by February the place is generally occupied by the regulars, plus a few resolutioners who have made a solid commitment. I think that their goals may be the problem. If I were trying to achieve the above goals, I can assure you I would have quit long ago. Exercising isn't about those things for me. I have managed to successfully be a regular gym-goer and exerciser for over two and a half years, I'm not sure I can explain how I stay motivated, but I'll try.

I have a body....and it can actually do things!
When I joined the YMCA after I finished chemo(September 17, 2007) I never considered not going regularly. Maybe because I traded in my cancer card [Member benefits include self-injected drugs, plus steroids three times a week, and an afternoon date with an oncologist every Friday] for a much less complicated YMCA key chain scanner card that I could use whenever I chose to[or not], it was a clear upgrade, and I would never choose the C-card over my Y-card. That said, I have a gratitude for my body's ability to function that keeps me motivated. My appreciation is based on the fact that I continue to be amazed that I can lift more, run farther, move faster, and do things I never thought I would-or could- but I think this attitude of awe and appreciation is one any person can own. You might be surprised what your body is capable of, but you'll never know how much it can do of you don't give it the opportunity to show you.

Expand your musical horizons

Music. Music, music, music! Never underestimate the power of a good song. Listen to a radio once in a while. I do this in the car so I have the chance to listen to things I haven't heard before. Then I download the songs that I think might be a good edition to one of my running/gym mixes and don't listen to them unless I am at the gym. Not only does the music motivate me while I am working out, it also motivates me to work out. Fave songs on my current mix: Ke$ha: Blah, blah, blah; and Jason DeRulo: Whatcha Say.

Get Inspired
If you can't seem to break yourself from the computer to go work out, watch something that will make you want to go do something productive. I watch Nike ads again and again. They're awesome. Not to mention that they'll give you some songs to add to that playlist. Watch a couple times and you'll be able to visualize the video while you work out, even more motivation. Examples:

No Excuses
Courage (my favorite)
I Can

The Bottom line...

Staying motivated can be tricky, but the key is to just do something, anything. Sometimes I don't want to go, but once I put on my shoes and get out of the house, I can honestly say I have never regretted going for that run. Ever.

What motivates you?

Hope, Love, Run,
Marathon Girl

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