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Whoever can unlock the key to our motivation deserves a million dollars or two. I certainly don’t understand it. Or more accurately, I don’t understand what appears to be my lack of it.

The Couch to 5k? Yeah, not going so well. First it was raining every morning for a week, then I was kinda sick, and then I just don’t want to get out of bed at 5:30. I get mad at myself for not going out and running, because I know I need to and I know how great I feel when I manage to do it. But the guilt? Apparently not a motivator.

In high school my locker neighbor was a girl with the same name as me, who was a runner. I was always kinda jealous. She was sort of me in another life. Running was definitely not going to happen in high school, though. College? Never even thought about it. Now that I’m older, with a kid and the extra flab to prove it, I’m feeling the draw. Last week I listened to my friend Kay talk about the Austin Marathon, and the more she talked about it the more excited I became. I could do that, right? At least the half marathon. For my first try. And yet, ideas of race glory don’t get me out the door.

My best friend is getting married in May. We’ve been friends for approximately forever, and I’ll be standing up at her wedding along with my only other friend I’ve known longer. (They both were in my wedding, and I posted some photos in my 30th birthday post.) Naturally, I want to look amazing for this wedding. And yet? Still not lacing up those shoes.

So here we have the mystery of motivation. Long-term motivation. It’s almost as though I’m viewing both these goals as a final paper for school. In school I knew I could waste a lot of time, write the bulk of the paper the night before, and get a good grade. Logically I know that doesn’t work for fitness.

My husband says I need to just do it, and then I’ll be motivated because my body will want to do it. Well, if I could just do it I wouldn’t be having this issue. If I could just do it I’d already be running in races.
I told my friend today that I need someone to offer me a thousand bucks if I run in the half marathon. Money is a definite motivator. Especially when I think about the possible camera lens involved. That’s not very realistic, though. Bribing myself with things doesn’t seem to help anyway – there’s nothing to stop me from getting it before I’ve earned it.

So what to do? How do you solve a problem like Maria motivation?


  1. Motivation is so tricky. I am influenced by peer pressure so I join groups and pay $$. Then I show up and after awhile the motivation decides to join me for the ride. It seems to be the only way that works for me. Oh and exercising at night. I suck at early morning exercise.

  2. i didn’t start seriously running until after college, i used to hate it so much in high school. but here are the various factors that motivated me, perhaps some might work for you?

    -first of all, i only run in the evenings, cannot stand waking up early.
    -got properly fitted for running shoes at a running store (can be a little expensive, but honestly, i think investing that money made me more motivated to use the shoes)
    -started signing up for 5 and 10Ks (which also cost a small amount of money)
    -found good routes/trails to run on that were pretty and thus distracted me from the fact that i was running.
    -running buddy? i volunteer at the animal shelter and can take out dogs, but people work well too!
    -cultivating a good playlist if you run with an ipod or other mp3 device

    i think the more you do it, and as it gets easier, the more you look forward to it. good luck! hope you’re well 🙂

  3. The problem isn’t your motivation, the problem is your energy and focus. Motivation is your internal drive, more of a big picture thing. Normally when people say they have no motivation it means they don’t have the ambition and energy to work toward their motivation.

    Dig deeper to figure out what your true motivation is. Do you really want to run 26 miles? Why? Do you want to get in shape? If you want to get in shape, is running really the best avenue for you? Really examine what your end goal is, what is your motive for doing something. Once you understand your motive, the ambition should follow.

    For example:
    You want to get in shape. Why? To be healthier. Why? To be able to have more energy. Why? So I can play and spend time with my child. Why? Because I want to have a closer bond with them and be there for them.

    Isn’t having a closer bond with your child and living to see them get married and then spoil grandchildren a better energizer than just being able to say “yea, I ran a marathon”?

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