Monday, January 7, 2013

What Are You Doing It For?

Before anyone starts training regularly with us, we bring them in for a consultation - a chance to sit down and discuss their goals, how we'd go about achieving these goals, and so on.  Quite often, the individual I'm meeting with will tell me that they'd like to run a 10km race/half marathon/full marathon... to which I follow up with a single question:

"Why?"

Now, (very) occasionally the response is something like "Well, when I did the marathon last year, I felt great right up to mile 23, but then I hit the wall... which really sucked, because I was heading for a personal best.  I'd like to see if I can improve that....".

Unfortunately, the number of people who answer this way are rare - more often, I receive a blank look.  So I'll go a little further and ask "Do you really, really, love running?  Is running a passion for you?" - because if it's not, then I have a little morsel of truth for you: running is hard.  It's hard on the body, it's hard on the mind, and believe me, if you're not doing it out of a passion for running - then it's just that much harder, and you're probably not going to stick with it for very long.

This can be applied across the board, to all facets of health and fitness.  No matter what your starting point is, your journey is going to be a roller coaster - there will be good times, bad times, and times when temptation and/or apathy can feel almost impossible to overcome.  And if your goal is some extrinsically driven motivation then, unfortunately - failure is almost guaranteed.  The day-to-day has to be tied into the long term passion, so that every time the temptation to eat badly or to skip a workout pops up... you will overcome it. 

If you can't find a way to enjoy the journey - you're never going to get to the destination.

~Guy

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