Tag Archives: motivation

I can’t run and I signed up for a 5k

Am I crazy?  I signed up for a 5k before I even started training or knowing if I could run without injuring myself.  I had severely injured my knees two summers ago when I decided to start running.  The extra, extra pounds my body wasn’t used to carrying just crushed my knees and that was that.  But I decided that the fact that I’m turning 26 this year and can’t even run 20 seconds without getting winded is just ridiculous and not right.  So I signed up for a 5k and then started training.  Crazy, right?

Not so much.  I am one of those people that starts something and doesn’t finish it.  Maybe because it got too hard, or I was sick of it, or I got distracted, or (the most common reason) I thought I wouldn’t succeed and so I quit before giving myself a real chance.  So to make sure I couldn’t do that this time, I roped in two of my cousins to join me in the 5k and started publicizing it.  I announced it on Facebook and I sent an email to friends and family asking them to donate on my behalf to support me (don’t forget to donate!)  Too many people know for me to quit and they even ask me about it (shaming me when I realized I haven’t done enough)!

So even though a lot of people advise to see how your body is adjusting to running before signing up for a race, I say fiddlesticks!  There is no better motivator than a shared, public commitment that too many people know about for you to quit or you’ll be embarrassed and ashamed that you failed at something people who are 4 times your age, who have one leg, and who do it in a wheelchair using their arms accomplish every month.

What do you do to stick to your fitness?  Any goals you’ve set with an upcoming birthday in mind?


Motivation: My Cankles

Don’t know what cankles are?  Allow me to provide some definitions:

From urbandictionary.com

“The area in affected female legs where the calf meets the foot in an abrupt, nontapering terminus; medical cause: adipose tissue surrounding the soleus tendon, probably congenital, worsened by weight gain and improved in appearance only by boots. From the English “calf” meaning wide portion of the lower leg, and “ankle” meaning slender joint of leg with foot.”

“A reference to a pair of legs that have no defined end of the calf area as well as no defined beginning of the ankle area. Does not only refer to fatty legs, simply shapeless legs.”
“n. 1) An aesthetically unfortunate physiological condition which leaves its victims with no discernable narrowing of the ankle between the calf and the foot. 2) An ankle which has no discernable narrowing from the calf to the foot. History: The word is derived a combination of the words calf and ankle. Victims of this condition are advised to avoid the following: ankle boots, ankle-strap shoes, anklets, ankle socks, ankle tattoos, high-top shoes, and any other footwear or legwear that might draw attention to the cankle region.”

That’s right, people.  I have an aesthetically unfortunate physiological condition here there is no definition from the end of my calf to the beginning of my ankle, which is worsened by weight gain.  My mother says I haven’t always had cankles, but I beg to differ.  I hope she’s right, though and that my memory is swayed by my adolescent tendencies to never be happy with any of my body parts.  So why am I inundating you with definitions of cankles?  Because cankles, more importantly the sight of my cankles, has become my running motivation.

As some of you may remember, or may have never known, I have signed up to run my first 5k on April 29, the day after my 26th birthday.  (please don’t forget to donate to support me!)  Running is not in my blood.  It is not something I really enjoy doing.  And it is definitely not something that comes easy to me.  I am following the Couch to 5k program with an app on my iphone.  I love that program, but man does it take a lot of self-motivating when I look down and see that today’s run is scaring me more than last week’s run.

Last night, in the umpteenth hotel room I’ve been in this semester, I yelled at myself to go down to the gym and run.  “Self!,” I yelled inward.  “Yes, you’re tired.  Yes, you’ve just driven 2 hours.  And yes, you have work to do for tomorrow.  But get up off your fat butt and go do a measly 30 minute treadmill session!”  So myself did and was happy to find that the other people in the tiny gym already had The Voice switched on the tv.

As soon as I stepped onto the treadmill I could feel that this was going to be rough.  My hips were tight from all teh driving I’d done this week already, and my calves were tight from not being stretched.  But I ran that day’s program: Run 3, walk 2, run 4, walk 2, run 5, walk 3.  Might not seem difficult to some of you but that run 4 and run 5 scared the poop out of me (fortunately not literally).

And when I felt 90 seconds into the run 4 that I was going to die, I looked at myself in the mirror (I really do hate running in front of a mirror) and saw them.  My cankles.  They were staring at me as I ran.  laughing at me.  Taunting me.  Telling me, “it’s okay, just stop.  No one here is going to judge you.”

And then I realized that the bane of my existence, the body part that keeps me from wearing cute skirts, dresses, and shorts, the part of my I can’t stand, was the one part of me that could motivate me the most.  When I felt like my lungs were going to burst and my kneecaps were going to shoot off and shatter into a million pieces, I looked down at my cankles and told myself “run off your cankles.”

What is your motivation?  What do you do about a body-part you’re unhappy with?

Please stop myself from arguing with myself

We all know the basics to losing weight: move more, and eat less (eat healthier).  It’s so simple yet why is it so difficult?  What is it that keeps us from doing one or the other or both?  The same equation applies to feeling better, happier, peppier, more energized.   Exercise and eat good-for-you foods.  The nutrients and natural uppers contained in most foods go a long way towards helping our mental state than does the pizza that satisfies for five minutes but makes us feel heavy and sluggish.  So why aren’t we all eating better and moving more?  (source)

This is a serious question for you all.  I have been trying to get healthy for years.  And every year was my year.  “I’m not going to buy these pants because I’m going to lose weight and I don’t want to waste the money.”  “This year’s Christmas photos won’t feature my upper arms.”  “I’ll start wearing this dress once I’m proud of my legs.”

I’m no dumb-dumb.  I know that sitting on my butt all day wishing and thinking about how I can lose weight won’t actually will the weight away.  So what stops me from getting up and moving?  Some of my current excuses are

–          Money.  I didn’t budget a gym membership into my current budget and want to wait until next month to freshen the pot.

–          Fatigue.  After a day of walking around campuses stalking professors and then coming home and working on office related items, I’ve ended up working about 12 hours.  After that’s all done I’m too tired to get up.

–          If I leave to go to the gym now I’ll be hungry about 10 minutes in which will lead to starving about 40 minutes in and will distract me.  But if I eat now I could run the risk of feeling funky at the gym.  And if I go now and eat later than I’m eating dinner really late and that isn’t good either is it?

I’m sure I’m not the only one that has played that song over and over again in my head.  But there are simple fixes, aren’t there?  Of course.  Like I said, I’m no dumb-dumb.

–          No money?  No problem.  Go outside and get your cardio in. It’s beautiful here in your new town.

–          Too tired?  Well choose something that appeals to your fatigue like yoga.  Or go to a pump up the jam class like the one you bought on Groupon… right gotta use that one up.

–          Ah the food issue.  No problemo!  Have a light protein packed snack now, like a smoothie or (if you like them, I loathe them) bananas.  Then when you get back you can have a small light salad that won’t make you feel bad in bed.  OR plan your day out better and schedule your meals around when you’ll be going to the gym.  Or just SUCK IT UP!

Oh, but come on now, I’m an expert at excuses.

–          By the time I get home and get things done it’s dark outside with this whole fall-forward thing we just experienced.  And I’m a young girl who shouldn’t be marching the mean streets of Doodlehem alone.  Admittedly most of the streets aren’t mean and when I do go out in the dark I stick to the well-lit ones.  But everything is so uneven I can’t get a good run for fear of my natural clumsiness taking over and face-planting into the road.

–          If I go to yoga I’ll just fall asleep.  And the fun class?  I’m too tired for that right now!

–          Okay, but I didn’t plan for this and you know I’m type-A and can’t just willy nilly change plans on myself.

My mind works so wonderfully.  It makes a problem, solves the problem, and then argues with the solution.  If I let it continue it would also argue with the argument until a few hours have passed by and now it is definetly too late to go out.  Oh, well.  There is always tomorrow I guess.

What do you do to get yourself out of the funk?  One solution is to find workout buddies but I barely have any buddies here let alone a workout buddy.  Besides, if my workout buddy flakes one day then I flake and isn’t it a bad idea to have someone contribute to your already flaky problem?