Your Prize
December 28, 2013

Motivation is personal. Your prize is personal. While vacationing in FL last week, I was running 4-5 each day, which was tough. Hadn’t been running much in Madison due to the weather and my schedule. I had warmth and time, which translated into mileage.

My brother shared with me on our last beachfront night that he ran all-the-way-down-to-the-pier that morning…a good 7.5 miles. I’m proud of his steadfast commitment to fitness and nutrition, but now in my mind I had been challenged. Little brother does it, so now I have to. It wasn’t that I was dismissing his fitness level; I was appreciating his fortitude. No way could that have been easy. He had to have been swearing in his head, and negotiating with the mental messages to do less. But he didn’t. He flipping ran 7.5 miles.

So the next morning I started my run, and decided I would simply keep running until I got to the pier. I wouldn’t think about 7.5, but only think about running to the pier.

To be honest getting there was no problem. It was actually fun, and I felt really good. But I had to get home.

On the way back, all the things I have worked on in my life to be a better me came out. My impatience, and aggressiveness began to brew. My first thought…now I have to run all the way back and I can’t stop or walk, because Mike didn’t. This bugged me. Now he was bugging me. Poor Mike…he’s had 42 years of this nonsense. In addition, the walkers on the beach were not respecting me. They were nonchalantly enjoying their morning stroll IN THE MIDDLE of all the flat sand. Seriously? Can you move over just a smidge so I’m not running in the ocean? So now, in addition to my brother, I’m mad at them. And the beach bikers come cruising along with very little effort as I’m fighting tooth and nail for every step, biking their way right into my jogging path. They have also just made my “you suck” list. 

The icing on my pity cake is the guy who was doing speed training. I’m running along…at about an 8 min mile pace…and he proceeds to sprint past me at 6min/mile, stop, breath and rest.  I pass him…and he does it again, and again, and again for a good 10 min. I want to kill him. I’m trying to get in a zone and he is sprinting, resting, sprinting, resting, in my space; on my beach. I almost trip him, but I think someone might be videoing it from their iPhone, and that’s just bad for business.

When I finished the 7.5, I celebrated but also laughed at myself. Really? The angst, discontent, struggle and intolerance I experienced during that run were comical. However, they were guttural. So I celebrated again. I decided not to beat myself up for my thoughts. Because I did finish, it wasn’t pleasant, but I fought hard and won.  And during my mental celebration speech to myself, I fell back into brotherly love with Mike, appreciated the walkers getting up early to enjoy the outdoors/exercise and almost, but not quite, gave the bikers my thumbs up.

Motivation is personal. There are positives and negatives that drive us. Show up regardless. Fight hard, even if it’s not pretty. That morning it wasn’t pretty, but I celebrated both my strengths and weaknesses. When we feel exposed/tired/challenged we revert to our back up styles. These may not be our best colors, but acknowledging and doing it anyway is okay.

I know I preach often and overtly about the power of positive thinking. However sometimes your thoughts are neither perfect, nor positive and you dig into the rawness of the fight. Fight hard to get it done. Respect that it sucks and that you don’t love it, but it will not interfere with your goal.

I felt happiness when I completed the run, but I can’t say I felt happiness on my return trip. Actually, it was a good 30 min of crappiness. But let me say again, I felt happiness when it was done.

Keep your eye on Your prize.

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