I hear I’m so motivated, a lot. There are a few people out there wishing they had half of my motivation. I’m quite happy to accept these comments as compliments at 4:00 in the afternoon. I feel super motivated then.
But come morning, it isn’t pretty. I’m no motivational poster child. Here’s a little taste of what it actually sounds like inside my head in the morning –
“Ugh. Please let me have another hour to sleep…” [roll over, look at phone – “crap.”]
“I think I really need more sleep.” [do math in head, realize I’ve slept for 8 ½ hours – “crap.”]
“Maybe I need more rest. I should probably take another rest day. I didn’t have enough rest in my schedule last week.” [review previous week and recall that there were actually 2 rest days for recovery from so much dancing at 3 nights of Grateful Dead concerts – “crap!”]
“I have absolutely no interest in doing intervals this morning! I think I might need a break from training. Maybe I’m just burnt out. When was the last time I really took a break and did nothing? I think I need a break. Maybe I should just find something else?” [well, that doesn’t feel right either – sigh.]
“I’ll just catch up on Facebook and Instagram for a few minutes. “ [this is the most deadly of all the possible morning activities – 30 minutes of available workout time goes in a blink – and not like a decision – it just evaporates]
“Fine, I’ll make tea, but I’m not making oatmeal!” [such fierce protest – shuffle to kitchen. Jason’s already got tea steeping – jerk.]
“Fine, I’ll make oatmeal” [eat begrudgingly]
“I probably missed my window” [check phone – “dang.”]
“How are you gonna feel at 4:00 this afternoon if you haven’t worked out?” [Sigh. Get dressed. Get water. Get on bike. Start moving pedals slowly around in a lifeless circle]
“This isn’t going to work. I’m not even in zone 1. This is awful!” [stop Garmin. get off trainer. adjust fan. sit back on bike]
“Just pedal and stop thinking.” [pedal, pedal, pedal, slow pedal, pedal more]
“I like this song.” [pedal, slow pedal, 10 minutes of warm-up pass]
“You know better than to ask yourself if you want to workout in the morning. The answer’s always ‘no’. Wrong question! It’s gonna hurt, you’re gonna be uncomfortable – of course your brain doesn’t want your body to do this. But this is how the body adapts and gets stronger. Have you ever regretted a workout once it’s done?… No.” [keep pedaling]
“Just do what you can do today. If it’s short workout – fine. Quality over quantity. Do 1 great minute of an interval; better than doing the whole thing half-assed. That’s it -1 quality minute.” [pedal up to zone 4. stay for 1 minute]
“1 more. You’ve got 1 more in you.” [pedal 1 more minute in z4]
This goes on until the first set’s complete.
You might imagine that I go into the second set inspired with renewed motivation. Nope. The struggle isn’t as as bad, but I negotiate with myself down to only 10 minutes of the 15 minute interval.
When I get to 10 minutes and am certain I’m “put-a-fork-in-me done – I try for 1 more quality minute and then another and then another. I was fine with not finishing the set as long as each minute was good quality. I finish the set. It’s a good workout. Such a fuss, though!
Not all days are this challenging and some are worse. In the beginning, I didn’t win many negotiations with myself. It’s not easy.
When I see updates from my friends and team mates doing amazing training – I admit – I wish I had half of their motivation. But I suppose we all have conversations like these. We all have to work hard to overcome our own style mental inertia. It just looks so effortless on someone else.