You Can Always Go Further

You can always go further than you think you can! (Especially with the right motivation)

When I was nine years old, I remember attending a gymnastics camp and I remember the head coach had a motto, “You can always go further than you think you can!” We repeated it over and over, and to this day I chant this to myself when I am at that point of sheer exhaustion during a workout.

I must admit too, that for nearly two years after the birth of my son I did not work out… ever. I had tons of excuses for myself: I have a baby, I work full-time, chasing a toddler is enough of a workout. Yes – all of those things were true. I resented the mamas out running every morning in the jogging stroller with their babies – they must not be as busy as I am, right? I finally realized it was a choice I was making, I could find the time if I wanted it badly enough. It’s okay if you aren’t at that point yet; give yourself that allowance, some day soon you might be there.

For me, the turning point came from the right motivation— my mom. She told me during a phone conversation one night that she had signed us up for a local 10K race less than three months away. Um, what?! It was surprisingly something I really wanted to do; the only problem was finding time for the gym. It just wasn’t going to happen. So, next best thing, I purchased a treadmill (running outside at 5 a.m. in February in Colorado wasn’t going to be an option!). 

I came up with a training regime and stuck to it, better than I had ever stuck to a training plan before. I didn’t want to let my mom down; I didn’t want to be responsible for holding her back so I pushed myself every single week. And when the race day came, I was ready. I ran my first 10K and to some extent I got my life back. I remembered what it felt like to be proud of my own accomplishment and I remembered how much fun road races were.

So if I can pass along any advice it would be this:

  • Remember that you can always go further than you think can!
  • Find YOUR motivation. This is so personal! For me, it was my mom pushing me outside of my new-found “comfort zone” and new mama excuse.
  • Consider signing up for a race, triathlon, or some other fitness event with a deadline. There are few things more motivating than knowing you have a race coming up and want to be prepared so you don’t make an ass (excuse my language) of yourself.
  • If you decide you want to get into running, consider following a program; this made a huge difference for me. I printed off my training schedule and highlighted each workout I had completed. Nothing was more motivating than realizing one of my workouts would be left not highlighted.
  • Give yourself a break, if you aren’t ready – you aren’t. During the newborn phase, sleep is probably more important than a workout, that’s okay!

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