Monday, March 2, 2015

Mindset and Motivation

As I sat and thought about what to bring you on this monday blog post about fitness, I thought to myself I really am the last person qualified to be writing about this topic. I am not an expert, by any means. I simply tell my story about my running journey. That far from qualifies me as a fitness guru. Many I know, who are far more educated, are more qualified to be speaking or writing about this topic than myself. 
 February was a really, really, (did I say really?) tough training month for me. But, I have learned much through that time, and much of training is about the journey. In reflecting on my February "Monday fitness" posts, I realized that much of what I wrote was for me, as much as it was for my readers. Which brings me to my thoughts today.
  I feel like I am finding my groove with fitness again. Saturday I did a long run again. (Okay, it was only 5 miles, but considering what February was, that was a good track to being in the long distance once again...) That particular run, though slow, felt amazing. The sun was out and 25 degrees felt like 55 compared to recent temperatures. I chose a different route, and though the scenery was boring, my feet finding a groove on a different roadway made a difference. I could feel myself pulling out of the slump of the rough month of training. I also shifted my mindset dramatically over the last week with my eating habits. Part of training, after all, is eating right, too. I don't always do this well, but I have realized my body needed that change. Many don't realize what eating the right foods can do for both body and mind. I struggle with this- I like my sweets and my potato chips very much. It's not to say I have to give those up completely,  I just needed to adjust the consumption. These 2 efforts combined make a phenomenal difference. Do you know what both of these boil down to? 
The mindset and the motivation. 

The mindset is the one aspect I can control. Only I can do this. I can allow myself to give up or I can push myself to keep going. And while I never quit on myself through the wintery month of February, the mind played a large part of the challenge. Yes, there were health factors in there as well, but I teetered between the lines of quitting and keep on going for many days.  The mind plays a huge part of that. After all, the mind is the one that will play the tricks of "Get out of bed" or "Sleep in" . Or "Eat that cookie" or "Eat that orange."  The mind tells me I am good enough or I am a failure. It's an endless battle the tricks the mind can play on us, but it comes down to which part of that battle will I let win? The lying part of my mind, which never leaves me feeling better, is done being the winner. I will choose to keep winning and being a winner, simply by continuing to fight for my goals and runs and healthier me. 
   The motivation is a different story. Motivation looks different to every person. For some, they run for the victory of receiving a medal. Others are motivated by a number on the scale. Still others are motivated by people around them. My motivation is a different color and a different shape all the time. Each person has to figure out their own motivation. For a little bit, my motivation was a time goal. And to be honest, that time goal still remains in the back of my mind. But, I have never been a watch fan, I really prefer to enjoy the run. Training with a time goal as my motivator brought challenges which caught me off guard. So, the motivator this time around (at this point in the game) come around to a couple different specifics. Sometimes, a friend motivates me. That would be the case at this point. Not a training buddy, but a friend also changing the mindset and bettering themselves, albeit in a different manner, has helped me see if they can do it, so can I, so I need to get out of my head and back into the game. Perhaps we motivate each other, but I'd be more inclined this time around to say that I have been the one motivated in this case by their determination, whether they know it or not. And I am grateful for it. The secondary motivator that comes around with that is just to keep working on me. I lost a little bit of that the last month, but as I train, and fuel myself with better foods and more exercise, I find my happy place more often than not. And the more I do that, the better I feel. No, those 2 things are not what makes me me, but they certainly contribute to a better mindset, and a better mindset makes me a better me. 
  See how the mindset and the motivation tie together and in essence, keep the training going? And the training (or goal setting/exercise) helps me continue to be a better me. 
  Goodbye, February. You taught me much, but I will not miss you. Hello, March, I welcome you with open arms and a determined mindset.  And look out... my races come in April.... 
   Mindset and Motivation are in place and I'm not quitting. I'm continuing to work on me. Physcially, emotionally and spiritually. And yes, the mindset and motivation tie into all of those as well. 


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