I Hope …

MotivationI am having a motivation break down.

Yes, I am well aware that as you train, especially over a long time period, motivation wanes and rises like a roller coaster. I have dealt with this in the past. But because I have dealt with this in the past I also am well aware of how a dip feels vs. how a plummet feels. And this, my friends, is on the verge of a plummet.

Motivation is a personal thing. It is not the same for everyone, so the first thing to know is to not pay attention to magazine articles, books, and yes even blogs when they try to tell you how to be motivated. They don’t know you. They don’t know what makes you tick, so they cannot even begin to know what will get you off the couch and moving. I will not try to do that here either.

This is about me.

Motivation also changes over time. The initial push that got you off the couch 4 years ago may not work anymore. The importance you placed on weight loss may not seem as important. The people who you got to spend time with, who you looked forward to being with and who helped you to stay motivated are no longer there physically or mentally. They have placed more importance on other things outside of you or training. The happiness and fulfillment you had when finishing a long ride or a hard race are no longer there. The “I can’t wait for Saturday so I can ride” has turned into “can I just get this over as quick as possible so that I can relax the rest of the day?”.

This, my friends, is a scary place to be.

This, my friends, is how I got fat in the first place.

I know this feeling well. I lived with it for 20+ years. I thought I had a handle on it. I have not felt this sense of foreboding and helplessness in a long time, and I am struggling, my friends, in how to deal with it. It is not something I can share with family, or really friends, so you lucky readers get to hear it (if you’re still reading at this point).

For those reading this that have never dealt with this issue, I understand it is hard to understand the problem. I can hear you out there now saying “just get out the door, man”, without fully comprehending that “just getting out the door” can be difficult. And it doesn’t just start there. I have not progressed to the point where I cannot get out of bed or get out the door. I can get the workouts in that I need to get in, but it’s robotic. There’s no joy in it. There were times, and not that long ago, that I so looked forward to training. I rushed out of work to drive to Flatwoods to just get a couple of loops in. I changed clothes in my car in the parking garage at work to save time before driving to meet a group for a quick 5 mile run before it got too dark. The mere idea of missing a workout would stress me out. Now it’s the workout itself stressing me out. I find myself looking out the window near my workbox (i.e. cubicle) hoping the storm clouds roll in so I have an excuse to not go ride or run.

Part of the issue is that I gather strength and motivation from others. It’s how I am built. I am not one that finds comfort or solace in the lone run or ride. I like being with others. It pushes me and allows me to have fun while hurting. But when others put training second, or third … when they make weekend plans that leave you to train alone, it makes you feel … less important … and this affects me. It settles into my head and festers. Believe me … I wish I wasn’t like this … it would make my life a lot easier if I was more like my brother who can cut people out of his life without a second thought. I wish in my ripe old age that some magic self-help book was there that flicked the switch to make me not give a shit about what others do and make me self-reliant in this aspect of my life. But it’s not me.

So here I drift. I hope it’s just a momentary downturn in my psyche and that one morning I will wake up and be back to my 2012 self again. I hope that at some point my heart and head harden so that others stop affecting me. I hope that those I want to train with will regain their own passion, not just for me but for themselves as well. I hope I find the passion I need to succeed in training, in work, and in life.

I hope.

5 thoughts on “I Hope …

  • June 4, 2014 at 9:41 pm
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    John,
    I know how you are feeling. After 4 years of training my ass off I too was losing motivation. You are right that it is purely personal. Finding a personal reason to keep going is not easy.
    I do however think you are wrong about reading blogs, books and articles about motivation. If anyone reading your blog even finds one sentence anywhere that connects with them and gets them motivated to do even just one more rep or one more mile than it did some good right?
    We don’t blog only for ourselves right? We want to help others. Otherwise , why post it to the web?
    I will say that two things got me back in the saddle. One was volunteering at other races. Taking in the aura of the race, I felt like I didn’t want to be volunteering, I wanted to be participating. That kept me motivated for a little longer. By the time I felt like I was losing steam again, there was another race to volunteer at. The second, was taking time off of triathlon and training for some obstacle races. It worked the same muscles and after a couple of months off I found that I actually progressed in each event. If course that was me. Like you said , personal. I have every confidence you will cross that finish line. It’s totally worth it.

    • June 4, 2014 at 9:52 pm
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      You know … that’s a very good point. I didn’t think of it that way.

  • June 3, 2014 at 11:00 pm
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    Please don’t wish for your heart to harden! I’m sure that trait does much more good for you than harm. I would love to ride/swim with you soon! It might suck to train but not nearly as much as wondering what it would have been like to hear “You are an Ironman!” on September 28. I believe in you!

    • June 3, 2014 at 11:01 pm
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      Thanks Lady J

  • June 3, 2014 at 7:53 am
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    No “outs” on this, John – Iron Man waits for no-one. You, my friend, are someone!!

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