I saw a post in a Facebook group for runners today that asked people for advice on how to stay motivated when they just do not feel like running. Guess what…there are lots of days even the best, most dedicated runners do not feel like running. Just like there are plenty of days that many of us just do not feel like getting out of bed in the morning. Has that ever happened to you? For whatever reason, you just do not feel like getting out of bed. Maybe you did not sleep well the night before. Maybe you are dreading what is waiting for you when you do get out of bed…a work meeting, a task that you are not looking forward to, whatever. What do you do? Do you stay in bed? If you do, how has that worked out for you? I find that the more I try to put off something, the more it haunts me…until it’s done and I can put it behind me, of course. Most of the time, despite not wanting to get out bed, we just do…even if we do not want to. And then what happens? We go on with our day and we eventually feel better.
It’s kind of like that with running. For that matter, you can insert any activity into that sentence. If you just start, it eventually gets better. The first step is always the hardest. Once you get going, it gets easier. As Newton famously said (ok, I’m paraphrasing here), an object in motion stays in motion and an object at rest stays at rest. The key to getting going is to just start.
I’ll make a confession…I skipped my track run this week. I told myself it was because of the air quality. But in reality, the air quality was not any worse this week than it was last week, when I did go to the track. That was just an excuse I gave myself. I have had a lot on my mind lately and that has been preventing me from getting a lot of things done. I have not been as productive at work as I usually am and I am not really looking forward to tomorrow’s long run either. There are plenty of excuses to not go…I am not feeling all that great (no, it’s not COVID, just stress), the air quality is not much better than it was earlier in the week (although it’s not worse, which is something to be grateful for) and it is going to be really hot (temperatures are expected to be in the 100’s, but of course I could get up early to beat the heat). But here is the thing about running (and pretty much everything else in life too): once we start, we are going to start feeling better. The first step is the hardest. In fact, getting dressed is really the hardest part. I usually lay out my clothes the night before so that if I manage to trick myself into getting up and getting dressed to run before my brain fully wakes up, I know there is a significantly greater probability I will actually do it. It is just like getting up and getting dressed to go to work…well, back in the days when we actually got dressed and left the house to go to work. And that brings me to an excellent example…have you noticed that it is harder to be productive in your pajamas or in yoga pants than when you are dressed “professionally” (whatever “professionally” means to you)? It is all about mindset. A button-down or collared shirt or uniform does not in and of itself make you more productive. But it sets the framework for your mind to think “it is time to work now”.
This is the mindset that prompted me to start the Finding Joy in Motion Program. Like that button-down collared shirt or uniform, it provides a framework to help you start and keep you moving. You definitely don’t have to run. You just have to show up for yourself in whatever way feels good to you. True, there are people in the program who run. But we also have hikers and walkers and aqua joggers. We even have a lady who jumps on her trampoline every day and another lady just got a new bike for her birthday! Finding Joy in Motion helps you develop a partnership with your body so that you two (you and your body!) can grow old together in BLISS!
It is not important how far you go, or how fast you go, or how you go (run, walk, bike, jump, it all counts!). What is important is that you show up for yourself. Just like you get out of bed every day (or almost every day! 😊), keep showing up for yourself.
If you would like to learn more about the Finding Joy in Motion Program. Click here. A new session is starting on September 15th.