What is motivation?

I’ve come to the conclusion that motivation can be broken up into two distinct phases: (1) The motivation to start and (2) the motivation to keep going.

For me, the motivation to start exercising seriously was, at least in part, a recognition of a new season in my life. At the time, I was finishing school, getting ready to move and to start a new job. I felt compelled by the changes in the other parts of my life that I decided it must also be time to change my health.

What I didn’t realize is that I had the power to bring on this new season at any time. Looking back, I realize that I could have started running or exercising in earnest whenever I wanted to. The time and the discipline were always factors within my control. At times I think, “What I wouldn’t give to have started this new season earlier?” I could be one year, 6 months, or even just a few weeks ahead of where I am now.

However, time will pass no matter what.  It is the one, great factor that is not within our control except when it comes to what we choose to do today.  We can either take hold of the future or when the future comes we can look back and wish we’d done more.  This, to me, is the motivation to start.  The hope that look back, a week, a month, 100 days, or a year from now and wish you further along in your fitness goals.

My successful race on Saturday, helped reaffirm my confidence that I have firmly rooted myself in ,my new season. They say fitness is only 10% physical and 90% mental: Now, I am just working on the 10%. The only factor outside of my control is time. Sure, I would like to be a year ahead of where I am now, but I can’t control what is already in the past.

The motivation to keep going can come in many forms.  To me, the most powerful motivation has been to continually set new goals or revise my existing goals. Having said that, I was so happy about my race Saturday that I officially registered for the AUSTIN MARATHON.  On February 15, 2009 I will be attempting what I once thought impossible.  I hope that when I finish I can answer the burning question, “Why would anyone want to run a marathon?”  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

Next on my plate, however, is the Duke City Half-Marathon, in three weeks.  So I won’t come up with a marathon training program until after that race, but when I do I will be sure to share it.