Today's blog is written by David Laney, pro runner and Team Zealios athlete. We always enjoy David's fresh take. Take it away David!
So it’s Sunday morning. It’s raining and 41 degrees. You have a long run planned but you’re just not feeling it. You start puttering around the house, do some laundry, surf the web, check Instagram, spend a few hours going down the rabbit hole of ozzyman reviews on YouTube, pretty soon it’s noon. You’re hungry and less interested in running than you were 3 hours ago. You think, ok ok I just need a little motivation, I’ll make a quick coffee, watch a few inspirational running videos and then hit the trails. A few more hours pass...
We have all been here. Sometimes getting out the door is just a battle. So think of it like a battle. Name the enemy, maybe a real whiney name like... *Ed Rooney, but feel free to choose any name you like. When you start folding laundry or start cleaning your bike chain,( instead of heading out to run), talk to your enemy! Say out loud “Ed Rooney you stale loaf, quit wasting my time, I'M GOING RUNNING”. Anyone who overhears you will think you’re off your rocker, and probably be real nice to you for a few days, so win win.
*If you haven’t seen Ferris Bueller's Day off, well, you gotta carve out 90 minutes in the next week or so for the cinematic experience of a lifetime. Essentially the protagonist Ferris Bueller doesn’t let Ed Rooney derail his plan, and neither should you.
See, let's be real. Motivation is a farce. I hear people say all the time “I want to go running, biking, climbing, but I’m just not really motivated…” I always feel like this logic is putting the cart in front of the horse. Motivation isn’t like the tooth fairy. She doesn’t just randomly visit you and put the desire to go do difficult things under your pillow. The only way to get motivated is to go DO difficult things. Get out in the rain. Set an alarm and never hit the snooze. Embrace the discomfort that you have chosen.
Motivation is a bit of an upside down idea, if you think it’s what you need, you’ll never find it and by the time you get it, you won’t need it. You can waste plenty of time looking for motivation, but what lukewarm spur you find will be no match for the molten drive of just going and doing.
To put it simply, embrace unmotivation and get after it.
I always dislike articles that just give some philosophical wandering and never really just give you the blunt bullet points of what to do. So here you go.
- Have a plan for your run/ride/whatever and make a plan for the time you are going to do it. Set an alarm and go out the door when that alarm beeps.
- NEVER HIT THE SNOOZE. Hitting the snooze is literally just being like, “yeah whatever I cared about last night I don’t care about anymore because my bed is a little warm”.
- Set yourself up for success by having your gear clean and prepped the night before. Get the coffee prepped, get your bag packed, food, water, clothes laid out, headlamp charged, watch updated. It’s much easier to go when you’ve given yourself some green lights.
- If you’re a social runner, get a friend to share some miles with. Set a time, be on time.
- Sometimes you just have to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, lace up the shoes and embrace the run. See, crossing the threshold of the run is typically the hardest part. Once you get out there, blood starts flowing, you get rolling along and it’s usually pretty good.
In closing I will leave you with a quote, it's not motivational, but hopefully it makes you think, and go and do.
“At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: “I have to go to work — as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for — the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?” So you were born to feel “nice”? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands? You don’t love yourself enough. Or you’d love your nature too, and what it demands of you.”