The Hot Hairy Breath of Motivation
Guest Blogger: Rachel Adamson
As an endurance running enthusiast, I’m frequently asked a laundry list of questions. However, the questions always tend to circle back to one topic. Motivation.
“How do you find the motivation to put in your training?”
Well, folks, I’m no expert, and I’m certainly not an elite, but I can attest to one thing. Brushing my teeth. Yes, ma’am (or sir), it’s really that simple. And we all do it. Frequently. We brush our teeth daily, because we want to have healthy gums and teeth. We certainly don’t want to knock down people we meet throughout the day because we’ve been slaying dragons with our bare teeth. No?
Same principle applies when pursuing endurance goals. You wake up, you do the work. You set goals. You set big, huge, fantastic, and sometimes even—scary goals. And then you do the work. Every day. Granted, we all have days when we roll out of bed, drink that first cup (or pot, don’t judge me) of coffee, and just don’t want to, and that’s completely normal. Everyone has those days. I even hear rumor that the elites sometimes feel this way (probably only a fraction of the times I do, but still).
But, guess what? You still get up and brush your teeth, right? So why not go ahead and slay that workout. Because the secret is-- doing it anyway IS motivation. It might not feel like it at the time, but that’s exactly what it is. Being consistent is motivation. You do it because you don’t want to show up on race day and find you’ve knocked yourself over from a lack of training. You do it because all of those workouts you’ve got on your schedule will ultimately culminate into a strategically planned race in which you do just as well as you’ve trained.
Now, with everything said about doing it anyway, let me be very clear: I’m not saying ignore injury and power through your workouts only to ultimately make things worse and then set your training back a few weeks. That’s stupid. That’d be like brushing your teeth for an hour straight and then whining that your gums are bleeding and your mouth is raw. Don’t be stupid. Don’t brush your teeth for a solid hour either.
How does one stay motivated? Simply by doing the work. Motivation isn’t some unseeable unicorn that exists in the outer limits of this universe. It is the daily grind. It is getting up when you’re knocked down. It is finishing that race despite being hours behind your goal time and then finishing DFL. It is every little workout that you finish in order to make those goals happen. Motivation is the daily grind. It is showing up and being accountable to yourself every single day.
As for brushing my teeth, that’s a labor I do simply because I love my trail running family; that or they would all grow exceedingly tired of being chased down by my hot, hairy breath.
Now, go be motivated, and don’t forget to brush your teeth.