According to google, its simple - motivation is “a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way," it seems everyone is looking for answer to what is the reason is.
If I had a dollar for every time someone has asked me “but how do you stay motivated?” or “how do you find motivation?” I would be rich. I really don’t believe that there is a key to motivation, or a way to get better at motivating yourself. You can’t buy it at shops, you can’t download it, and you certainly can’t find a “motivation for dummies book”. For me, motivation stems from the will and desire to do well, the love I have for the sport, the challenges and opportunities to better myself, the fear of not working hard enough and then regretting it later and the knowledge that in life, you will always get out what you put in.
Sometimes I don’t know how I swim, bike and run every single day, how I don’t snooze the alarm, how I continue to head to the gym even when I’m not sure if my legs will turn over on the treadmill. But then you get there and you’re midway through a tough interval, you’re dripping with sweat, your lungs are screaming at you to stop and your legs feel like jelly, and that’s when you realise why you do it – it’s because you love it, and this is happiness.
There is nothing more satisfying than showing yourself day in and day out that you can do it, that there is more in you and that nothing is impossible. More than anything, I love feeling the burn in my legs, being drenched in sweat, feeling strong, focusing on the present moment, and having a moment away from the stresses of everyday life. You know in that very moment, where it would be so easy to give in, to finish a set early but when you make the conscious choice to be strong and push through it, that you do love doing this.
When you love something, you know that you will always make sacrifices. I 110% accept that training will never be easy, that there will be moments when you ask why, you’ll have good days and bad days and self-doubt along the way. After all we’re all human, and even Ironman World Champions admit that they doubt themselves and doubt the process from time to time. However, in those moments of self-doubt, or in those difficult times, you should never have to question why, or how you got there. It’s simple, it’s the love for the sport.
I cherish the days when I wake up rearing to go, excited to be able to train. This morning was one of those mornings. The alarm went at 5am and I thought “Right, time to head to the pool.” It was easy, and I know that you cannot take those days for granted because more often than not, it’s hard. You wake up exhausted, and bed is warm and the day ahead is long. You could look to excuses, or you could choose to take a step toward your goals. I don’t look for anything to motivate me to get out of bed or to get to my evening training session and for me no excuse will ever be big enough to stop me chasing my goals. I think that’s where a lot of people make the first mistake of motivation. You see, you have to want to do it, you have to love doing it. I’m sure that all the researchers, doctors, sportspeople and other inspirational people that have gone before us and done amazing things, have not done them because they had to, they did it because they loved it and they loved putting time into it. You have to get up because you want to, get up because you love what your about to do, get up because you are you, your goals are your goals, your sacrifices make you stronger.
By saying all of this, I am not preaching or telling that you should do Ironman, because I can almost guarantee that 99% of you won’t find love or happiness there. So please, don’t spend any more time looking for motivation or looking at others to be just like them, just find what YOU love doing, and do that.
AUTHOR: Florence Loader, Physiotherapist