WHAT AM I DOING HERE AT THE GYM AT 5:00 AM IN THE DEAD OF WINTER?

For what reason did I climb out of my cozy bed and get into my icy cold car in the dark

Why do I sacrifice my personal comfort to do something uncomfortable?

To look great on the beach this summer? To fit into my jeans? To have energy to play tag with my kids? To be able to lift my elderly dog up onto the bed with me for a cuddle?

Perhaps.

We all have something that triggered us to show up at the gym one day and begin a fitness routine.

My husband has been working out since he was 13 years old. He has never stopped. Early in our marriage, he would gently encourage me to go for a walk, a run, solely prompted by my complaining about my jeans being too tight, “I ate too much”, etc.. Honestly, nothing he said could have motivated me to work out more than a few weeks.

The year I turned 40, things changed.

For one, I turned 40 – holy cow! Also, my brother was diagnosed with cancer that year and moved into the Hope Lodge (ACS) in New York City to receive treatments at Memorial Sloane Kettering (He’s in full remission!). In addition, my dad was diagnosed with diabetes, and both of my parents’ medications for various ailments (high blood pressure, etc) were drastically increased. That year, I seriously contemplated my own mortality and how I wanted to spend the rest of my life.

I started to make changes. I had found my Why.

We all have different reasons for beginning a new routine. We are motivated by different things.
One thing is universal, however, and that is our reason for beginning must be very strong to push us to continue. Some people say that the “first step” is the most important, yet I would contend that the steps we take each day that propel us to the next are even more critical. Many of us have begun journeys that floundered along the way, perhaps motivated by some “flash in the pan” excitement in the beginning. But when the hard work of toiling consistently became too taxing, we quit.

We quit because our Why wasn’t big enough.

Get a huge Why!

Get one big enough so that it won’t matter that you’ve just come off a 12 hour shift at the hospital. You won’t be phased that the baby woke up four times in the middle of the night. You’ll shiver in the pitch dark, 20 degree morning as you start your car, but you’ll go anyway. You are tired, stressed, too cold, too hot, too sore, but your Why is bigger.

Identify it because it will push you through to the next step when the initial “flash in the pan” motivation is gone.

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