Motivation is a funny thing.
You'd think we either have it or we don't.
We are either motivated to exercise...or we are not.
But it's not that simple.
Some people are motivated to run but only if they have someone to run with. Take away their running buddy and you take away their motivation.
Other people are good to go...until their iPod dies on the way out the door. No music. No motivation.
Running is the easiest activity for me to do. As long as I have even the sniff of a goal off in the distance, I'm good to go. I don't need to run with other people. In fact, I avoid it most of the time. I run with music but can do just as well without. And my pace is so consistent that the threat of my Garmin dying isn't enough to keep my home either. I can predict my return time within a minute or two and am usually right. And I know my running routes so well that I can figure out how many kilometres I've run without any technological assistance.
Swimming on the other hand is greatly affected by the motivation monsters.
I am always happy to go the pool...as long as I know that there will be someone there to tell me what to do...and as long as I am part of a Masters class which guarantees that we have our own lanes with people who are all there to do the same thing.
There are no Masters classes this week or next because of March break. Guess who didn't go to the pool once? Guess who doesn't feel the least bit bad about it? I keep track of our workouts so it's not hard to write one down and do it on my own but I know myself. If I went I would get at least an hour in but I would find it boring because I was doing it alone and I would get annoyed with people in my lane if I even perceived them to be 'in my way'.
Actually, it might be a little less about lack of motivation and a little more about being a brat...
Cycling is the same.
I'm happy to get up early and head down to the basement for a workout on the trainer. But it's only going to work if there is a cycling video with some hyped-up person with a stopwatch telling me that I'm doing a great job and that I only have two minutes of high cadence spinning left before I get to spin easy for 60 seconds.
Those people who can cycle while watching episodes of House of Cards seem very strange to me. If I did that I'd find myself sitting stock still on the bike watching the plot unfold.
When I swim, I need someone to tell me what to do, how long to do it for, and how hard to push.
When I cycle I need someone to tell me what gears to use, how fast to spin and how long my breaks are allowed to be.
When I run, I get up, put my shoes on, head out the door into (almost) any weather, and run the distance that I know I'm going to run.
Motivation is so strange sometimes isn't it?
It's not about whether we have it or we don't. I think it's more about figuring out what it takes to get it and then making sure we have what it takes. Even if it means skipping the pool when there is no one to yell at me and watching the same damn cycling videos over and over until spring.