Time passes so quickly and it’s too easy to sit on the couch, to do the same thing day in and day out and to let the days blend into each other. It’s easy to blame being out of shape on age and the stress of our lives…but I hate it and don’t want to fall into that trap.
To make myself get off the couch and work out, I do a few things:
- I set goals – goals that are significant enough so I have to train for them for a long period of time
- I sign up – putting money down makes it that much more real. Also, I hate wasting my money, so once I sign up there are less chances of me backing out of it
- I tell everyone – announcing it to the world makes you accountable. Friends ask how the training’s going, they notice if they don’t see an update and ask why you skipped the workout…it sucks but it’s a driving force to keep your motivation up.
To give you an idea of what my previous goals have been, a couple of years ago, I wanted to be able to do a pull-up. Since I play soccer, my legs are strong but my upper body has always been less than stellar. To get strong enough to do a pull-up, I did P90X. I started by doing pull-ups using a chair, moved on to negative pull-ups (where you start over the bar and lower yourself down) and kept doing it until month 2 when I was able to do my first pull-up. By the end of P90X I was able to do 3 unassisted pull-ups. Might not sound like much to some of you but I was over the moon about it!
Following that, I wanted to get faster. My strengths at soccer have always been my touch, my awareness and my knowledge of the game but never my speed. I wasn’t slow, but I was also not fast. As I started getting older, we started playing against girls who were younger and younger and I wanted my endurance and speed to match theirs. So I started doing Insanity. The daily plyo workouts were brutal, my body was continuously sore for the two months and I had to buy new jeans and I couldn’t fit them over my expanding quads, but I started flying past girls…it was amazing!
Last year I turned 30 and while looking at races in Toronto, I realized that the Scotiabank Marathon was held on my 30th birthday. Most people celebrate their birthdays by drinking and partying, I celebrated it by running my first Marathon! I ended up training on my own, which sucked. Even with my iPod, I was inside my own head for hours, which is very dangerous on a good day…brutal when I was tired and drained. But I did it and I had my friends and family supporting me every step of the way and I learned one very important lesson:
Your body is able to go much farther than your mind thinks it can!