Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Motivation Went to Monte Carlo

You wake up one morning, knowing you should get out and run, but you're not feelin' it.  No problem, one says to oneself, my gal Motivation (yes I think Motivation is a she)  will help me through it.  Except there's a note on your fridge and it says that Motivation went to Monte Carlo and she's not sure when she'll be back. 

Well at least my motivation is in Monte Carlo or somewhere nicer than here.  Perhaps she's just visiting someone else, maybe you, but she's not here. 

I was running along Broadway in Idaho Falls a few weeks back.  It's what I do when I'm waiting for my daughter to get out of her dancing/singing/drama class.  I have to watch the ground quite a bit with all of the haggard sidewalks, the uneven roads and, of course, cars.  I made the observation that no matter how many times they fixed the roads or straightened the sidewalks, it wouldn't last.  Then I tried to think of things that did last.  I found a few, but not many things in this world last.  Motivation is one of those things. 

When I began running after my second daughter was born, my motivation was to drop ten pounds of baby weight that hadn't come off.  Well, I achieved that goal.  So then what was my motivation?  Next it became my goal to run a race.  After my twins were born, I accomplished that goal....many times.  Right now my motivation is to keep my aging body in working order and on the fitter side of life.  But some mornings, I could care less if I go soft and get flabby.  Some days, I could care less that I just downed a whole batch of cookies.  Sometimes, I could care less if one morning that dumb scale betrays me.  So despite the fact that I have goals, like staying in shape and perhaps running a half marathon next summer, I still lack motivation. 

She's a fickle friend, that Motivation.  When she's around, you feel awesome and you feel inspired and you kick butt.  When she's gone, you feel lousy and justified in your decision to not move a muscle today.  So if I can't count on motivation to be ever-present, then what do I do?

That's when it hit me.  Motivation will come and go as she pleases.   When she's gone, am I going to sit around hoping that she'll feel like stopping by in the near future? No, I can't.  I made the decision that I probably gain more when I run without her. 
I've had quite a few runs like this lately.  Apparently, for me anyway, Motivation doesn't like Idaho cold and must be on a beach somewhere right now, because this is the time of year when I least feel like running.  But the runs I've done without Motivation there by my side have been some of the coolest runs I've done.  I don't think I ran better or anything, I just think that the decision to run despite having any desire to do so, gave me a sense of satisfaction that I hadn't previously experienced. 

It's an interesting experience to go solo out there, Motivation having abandoned me for days at a time.  Do I get mad at her for leaving me when she gets back?  Heck no!  I'm glad to see her.  Sometimes she will catch up to me mid-run.  Motivation is always a welcome visitor.  But now I know that I have it in me to run without her too.  And with 4 kids barking at my heels, a house that seems to be in a constant state of messiness, and a long list of to-dos that literally haunts my dreams, I know why Motivation doesn't hang around much.  I mean who wants all that to deal with? 

So  like the roads and sidewalks, Motivation will wither and go away, sometimes returning after getting some work done.  And that's cool.
Motivation can live her own life untethered to me, because I've got this.


Jani said...

This post comes at such an interesting time. I, too, have had to do without Miss Motivation recently in a couple aspects of my life. I, too, have gone solo. And lo and behold, experienced what you describe so well -- the satisfaction of doing what needed/wanted to be done - even without her! Love your writings and insight. And in case you didn't know, love you too!

Melanie said...

Anna ... Love your blog! My motivation has left the building and now I am in the process of finding it again.

Anna said...

You'll find it Melanie! But even if Motivation doesn't come back anytime soon, go anyway and do without her. I find she usually comes to me in the middle of a run. Thanks for reading!