How I Motivate Myself to Workout
Yes, I love to workout, probably more than most people do. It's something I discovered in my early twenties and it has only grown in it's ferocity over time. That said, there are still mornings (like this) when I wake up exhausted. My back hurts. My bed has swallowed me like the heavenly puff of soft linen that is, forming perfectly to my shape. There's a puppy paw pinning me down, his body curled into my belly in exactly the right way. It is on those days I call on these reserves to motivate myself. To drag me from the warm bosom of comfort and out into the cold (or swelteringly hot) world. I can't remember the last time I regretted going, but sometimes I need more than that.
Exercising as hard and as often as I do is how I prove to myself that I am not going to die anytime soon. The fact that I am living with Stage IV metastatic cancer is not something I forget, it's just something I live around. It still defines my life in a thousand subtle and not so subtle ways every single day. Missing out on fun things to go to chemo. Explaining every single time I take a new exercise class that I need to make modifications because less than a year ago they cut a chunk out of my body and then opened and closed me up, twice. Telling new friends in a new city. Remembering to take a gazillion pills everyday.
The fact that I drag my butt to these torturous workouts, sweating and panting and hurting, is how I prove to myself that I am actually healthy. That this serial killer that lives inside of me is under control. Fear of dying is how I drag myself to class, how I push myself to go harder.
I like things. I am not ashamed to admit this. I am a maximalist. I am more likely to do something if it involves the acquisition and use of things I like. Cute workout clothes, shoes and other gear are a strong motivator for me. There is something akin to triumph when I feel my shoes (or my sticky socks, or the thighs of my workout pants) give out and I know I've worked them so hard that I've earned a fresh pair.
My current obsessions are these dope slip ons from Reebok (I mostly do barefoot or spin shoe workouts so that's how I justified these cuties for wearing to and from class) and these amazing headphones my husband gave me, which have incredible sound, are super comfortable on my ears, and of course, match.
There is nothing like a $10 late cancel fee to get my tush out of bed. I don't know why this is so effective on me, but it is. My beloved clothes not fitting is a close second, followed by the fact that they weigh me every single time I go to the doctor. I hate myself for caring but I do.
Walking to and from a workout class is when I will allow myself to listen to the same song over and over again on repeat. There's usually one song that is the only song I want to listen to at any given point in time. Knowing this is not socially acceptable, I will only indulge in the "repeat one" as a motivator to get up and get moving. I will also use the lure of discovering new songs (workout classes are a prime source of playlist repeat fodder) as a motivator for the times when I am sans repeat song and looking for that next fix.