Getting motivated; What's your inspiration?

Posted by on July 28, 2010 at 7:21 am.

Flo-Jo.07.28.10.jpgThis week I decided to take a break from my normal gym fitness routine. Which are free weights, with a healthy side of cardiovascular activity. I decided to reverse my routine. Which means I’m doing a heck of a lot of cardio with a side order of free weights. I really enjoy mixing up my gym workout routines, they get boring to me if I’m doing the same thing constantly. I thrive on variety.

Each day this week, I’ve decided to devote around forty-five minutes to an hour of intense cardio routine. Yesterday I landed on the cross trainer, and although I usually just set the ramp on the highest incline (20) and just let it stay there. This time was different, I manually switched between 20 and nine, doing the same with the resistance. Vacillating between one and ten, I ran full speed the entire time. Running top speed is something I always do, but it was nice to add variety to my normal cross trainer workout. I’m definitely feeling a slight soreness in my leg muscles today. I did some things the same such as swapping between running backwards and forwards, and not holding onto the sides. I never hold onto the sides.

The beauty of exercise is that you don’t need to be in the gym to get a good workout. You can exercise at home even if you don’t have workout equipment or fitness tapes. Yeah, yeah I got bold happy there, but I did it for emphasis, mkay? At times, I do get annoyed when people whine about not being able to exercise because they don’t have a gym membership, or they don’t have fitness equipment at home. Please note I never voice this out loud to folks, it’s just something that plays through my head occasionally. I will offer tips on exercises they can do at home.

In my early twenties, I did exactly that (worked out in my home with no gym equipment.) I was living downtown in a small studio apartment. I hadn’t been out of college that long, and a gym membership wasn’t in my budget. I did pick up a few books from the library that showed me the types of exercises I could do at home, all that was required of me was too simply… do them! Imagine that? Motivation can be tough; yeah I know. I’ve been there before, and will be there again in some aspects of my life but you know what, my goals aren’t going to get accomplished sitting on the sidelines of life waiting for someone to do them for me. No, I need to get off my lazy butt, take the initiative, and get out and actively work at achieving my goals.

Do I need motivation to workout? No, not really I haven’t encountered that in years. But, at times I do need motivation in others aspects of my life (more on that later.) Exercise is a habit. Simple as that. It’s been ingrained in my life since I was a young child. In those days, my form of exercise was some type of play. I still do that, since physical play can be a workout. It’s something I’ve instilled in my seven-year old daughter too.

Technology has grown amazingly since I was a kid. People can spend hours, if the let it, glued to a seat with very little physical activity. I don’t let that happen. Those early and extremely active childhood days, carried over into adulthood too and so even if I’m required to be stationary for x amount of hours, you’ll still see me getting up to take breaks simply to move around. I don’t feel right when I don’t workout. You know something health-wise I don’t feel as great either, sitting on the “I’ll workout tomorrow sidelines” while I watch others “just do it” when it comes to physical activity isn’t going to happen for myself. Just remember folks, exercise is only part of it. You need to make healthy food choices too and take care of your mental health also. It’s all connected, surround yourself with positive folks, avoid the negative drama, you don’t need it.

Ok back to motivation…

There are times I do need motivation in other areas…

  • Decluttering my living space.
  • Remembering to actually list the recipe ingredients as I prepare a meal.
  • I create my own recipes; I’m used to not writing down the exact measurements.

  • Working on alternate streams of income.
  • I’m a single mom who works from home. Working from home can take motivation. It’s not for everyone. The great news about working from home is that I can work from anywhere? You want to know the bad news? I can work from anywhere, yes that includes the few vacations I take too.

    median longterm unemployment.07.28.10.png

    Checking out the news can be sobering, unemployment hasn’t been this high, in the United States, in several years. So yes, now it means I’m cutting into my “me time” (not to be confused with time I spend with my daughter) but time that I could be reading, gaming, etc., Some of that has been whittled down as I focus on some of my goals and turning some of those dreams into a reality. I believe I’ve set well thought out goals for myself (followed up with a few mentors/friends that will be brutally honest with me.) I know I’ll be able to accomplish them, in time. I simply have to stay motivated. I set positive mental images in my mind of the things I want to accomplish and steadily work on attaining them, if I stumble. I pick myself up and keep moving forward. It’s the only way I’ll attain the goals I want. Sticking my head in the sand aka putting things off won’t help me since my tasks will still be waiting when I comeback to reality. Since that’s the case, it’s important that I stay focused and keep working on the steps needed to achieve my goals.

In my local gym, I have a few visual sources of inspiration. Two folks that really stand out in my mind. The first is an elderly woman that has cerebral palsy, she uses a walker to help her get around (the walker has gotten smaller over the years) but you know what, she’s still there working out. She’s improved a lot, and she doesn’t mind asking for help if things get a little complicated for her. Guess what, people are more than happy to assist her if/when it’s needed. (I’ve helped few times myself.) She doesn’t ask a lot. The second source of inspiration is a man confined to a wheelchair. I first saw him at the gym about three years ago, I looked at him and thought, I really cannot be whining about how things are “just too hard,” can I? πŸ˜‰

Speaking of motivation; Bloggers worth reading…

I love being around inspirational folk, we might not be following the same path but I can still be inspired by what they’re doing and keep that as motivation in my own mind when things get challenging. When I think about bloggers there are two that really stand out in my mind.

  1. Waist Whittling Wordsmith
  2. The WaistWhittler is inspiring; she’s taking control of her health and fitness too. Putting yourself out there isn’t always easy, but it can be a motivational tool to keep you honest. I’ve enjoyed watching her progress as she actively works at attaining her goals. She’s a talented writer. I really enjoy reading what she has to say, Check out The Doers, the Dreamers and Me and I’m a Turtle and Goals for the week…

  3. MonkeyBird
  4. I met Maira via a Wordless Wednesday post, as customary I stop by anyone who leaves a comment on my blogs. I find a post that I enjoy and leave a comment. Just like the Waist Whittler, I really didn’t have too look long, since I found numerous posts that I liked. I enjoy how she weaves tidbits of her daily life onto her blog. My Wolf (my Lupus story) and Sorry Lupus You Will Have To Wait were inspirational she was sharing personal aspects of her life with the public (that’s not always easy.)

Many thanks to the both of you, and the many others within my life who continually inspire me to do my best, may we all achieve the goals we’ve set for ourselves.


Florence Griffith Joyner aka Flo Jo; Gone but not forgotten…

PhotoSource: US Department of Labor: Bureau of Labor Statistics

20 Comments

  • pinkie says:

    Hey! That’s Flo Jo! I had a Flo Jo doll as a child. πŸ™‚

    I wish I was like you. That exercise was a habit. Fortunately I have roller derby. That’s my motivator. i have practice twice a week and I make sure to skate at an open skate on the weekend as well as do exercises at night that help build my core, like ab work. I hope that all of this develops into a habit!

    [Reply]

    Moondancer Reply:

    @pinkie, Hee hee, you wrote this just as I was adding a Flo Jo video. My goodness she was amazing! She’s still the fastest woman runner, even though she’s been dead for over ten years, no one has taken that record….yet. I completely forgot about the Flo Jo dolls! Time to check Ebay to see whether I can snag one. πŸ˜‰ I collect certain items like dolls, comic books, and anything of black movie stars before 1940’s…

    Oh it will become a habit I’m sure. In the early days, what helped for me was keeping a mental and physical image of an idol I looked up too. In my case it was Juliette Bergman, was so happy when she won Ms. Olympia in 2002. I think she was 42 or 43!

    I’ve always wanted to try Roller Derby, it’s a physical activity and looks like so much fun! That’s definitely my type of workout.

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  • Maira Grove says:

    Thank you so much for the nudge. I have not been myself lately – have a stack of drafted posts, none of them quite finished… I needed your post πŸ™‚

    It is so easy for me to get distracted from goals sometimes. I have “motivation suckers”, I call them, my husband is the worst one of them all lol. He is constantly trying to get me to do something other than what I need to do. He doesn’t mean any harm just wants to spend time with me, same with t he kids. Then there are all the other thing I put between my goals and my self. I is a constant self battle and balancing act.

    Thank you for the mention, back πŸ™‚

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    Moondancer Reply:

    You deserve it @Maira Grove! πŸ™‚ Ahh the guilt… I can completely relate to you there. It’s something I struggle with too. I’m so used to doing for others that at times it’s hard to remember that I need to do things for myself too. πŸ™‚ I’m getting better with that. Of course, your family doesn’t mean any harm. You’re a wonderful person so naturally they want to spend as much time with you as possible. πŸ™‚ Taking care of yourself (without feeling guilty) and spending time with the family can be challenging. I do try to remember that in spending a few moments for myself, it helps me become a better person, for myself and those around me too. πŸ™‚

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  • What an inspiring post! Though we all know what’s good for us, any reminder – especially an inspiring one – can be all we need to stay focused and keep going. It’s funny we all grow up being told not to be selfish (among other things), but when it comes to taking care of ourselves and our health, selfishness is exactly what we need. We also need to feel the empowerment of taking control of our lives.

    I love that you listed bloggers you follow too – can’t wait to check them out.

    have a fabulous day!

    [Reply]

    Moondancer Reply:

    I know what you mean @Jen at Lita’s World. I was raised the same way, and my parents did spend a lot of time with my brother and me too. Taking time for myself is something I do struggle with, however, I’ve become better in the way I do handle my personal time. I enjoy taking care of my family, but I must remember that I need to take care of me too.

    I tend to list bloggers a lot on my blogs. This is my newest blog, and I’m not about to change sharing some of the fabulous blog pals I’ve met with others.

    [Reply]

  • Waist Whittler says:

    Thanks for the mention! I love seeing people who don’t allow their “obstacles” (wheelchair, cerebral palsy, etc.) to hold them back. What you said is so true; if they aren’t complaining and are in the gym doing it, then why can’t I?

    And about the gym…

    I think I’m going to “borrow” your method of setting the crosstrainer on the highest level then back down to nine to get a good interval workout in. Sounds like it would be great for the legs and glutes!

    And a word on motivation…

    Your commitment to a vegan lifestyle motivates me! Now, if only I could commit to eating vegan myself…

    [Reply]

    Moondancer Reply:

    You’re more than welcome @Waist Whittler! You’re truly inspirational and I enjoy reading what you have to say, even if I don’t always comment.

    I love seeing people who don’t allow their β€œobstacles” (wheelchair, cerebral palsy, etc.) to hold them back. What you said is so true; if they aren’t complaining and are in the gym doing it, then why can’t I?

    Me too, always inspiring to see that!
    Oh let me know how you like it, switch it up to suit your needs.
    Thanks, never thought of myself as an inspiration vegan-wise. It’s definitely part of whom I am. I cannot see myself being another way, however, I don’t fault people for eating differently either.

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  • Sire says:

    In my younger days I couldn’t afford gym membership so I made do with what I had. I got a steel bar which I stuck two 10litre paint tins full of concrete on either end which became my barbell. I did push-ups, sit-ups and anything else I could do to build up strength and stamina.

    My motivation was to get fit and lose some of the spare tire I was carrying. It worked too.

    Now I’m older, I have my own home gym but rarely use it because I need to get into a routine and every time I start to get into one things go wrong which **** me off so much I don’t want to start again.

    [Reply]

    Moondancer Reply:

    @Sire, You’re taking me back with your comment. πŸ™‚ I remember using canned goods for weights. It did the job, and I still was lifting weight. These days I have a gym at home, but I usually opt for some type of yard workout over using the gym. I know that will change once it gets colder outside.

    It can be hard getting back into a routine after you’ve been away from it for a while, but it’s definitely worth it. /nods

    [Reply]

    Sire Reply:

    @Moondancer, I prefer the cold, as it makes you work harder to keep warm πŸ˜‰

    [Reply]

    Moondancer Reply:

    @Sire, The yard work I’m talking about is gardening, I guess I should have called it “garden work”. I won’t be tilling the garden when it’s freezing outside. However, my daughter and I’ll be out there and you’re right you have to do more to stay warm.

  • Melinda says:

    Thanks for the inspiration! I think I’m getting that workout DVD back out tomorrow. I feel so much better when I work out…just seems lately I come up with too many excuses to put it off. I can relate to the single mom working at home…it is hard not to work every extra spare minute. I finally have tried to make a point to put up all the electronics during family time and take a much needed break.

    [Reply]

    Moondancer Reply:

    Hiya @Melinda, thanks for stopping by.
    Yes, it can be tough making getting into a habit. A lot of us stay busy so even squeezing in something that is good for us can be challenging.

    Totally with you on the single mom thing, it can be challenging trying to make it all fit. Usually, the ball is always in your court, and you don’t get a break while your significant other takes over with the children.

    Wishing you the best in squeezing that workout in and finding some time to simply relax and have family time too. It’s tough.

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  • Sire says:

    I don’t mind the cold, I work in my shorts even when it’s close to 0 degrees Centigrade. Must admit though it’s no fun when it’s wet πŸ™

    [Reply]

    Moondancer Reply:

    I thought I was insane… @Sire, πŸ˜‰
    I don’t do that, but I do walk outside barefoot or just in sandals, which at times gets me strange looks from the neighbors.

    [Reply]

    Sire Reply:

    @Moondancer, LOL, I’m always getting strange looks. The thing is once I get home the shorts come off and the track suit and ugg boots come on.

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  • Holly says:

    Hey Moondancer,

    I totally love the fact that you have just got exercise in your blood! that is definitely a great ting to have. Most people don’t. Even as a fitness leader I have days when I just don’t want to… but know that I must because of all the benefits it gives me.. I enjoy feeling slight soreness after a different workout, cause it tells me that I have challenged myself. Of course I love how good I feel aster a workout too. And or course I want to have a great physical and mental constitution when I get old so I might as well make it a habit now. Great post!

    [Reply]

    Moondancer Reply:

    Hi @Holly,
    Exercise and physical activity have been ingrained in my head since I was a child. It’s something we just did, so now if I don’t do some type of activity, something’s wrong.

    I like the slight soreness too, for the same reason. If I’m in the same physical shape as my seventy-two-year old father, I’ll be doing great.

    Even as a fitness leader I have days when I just don’t want to… but know that I must because of all the benefits it gives me..

    I imagine at times it must be challenging when you have those days since you are a fitness leader, and people look up to you to always be “on”.

    [Reply]

  • Life can at times drain all the motivation and energy in you but if you know how to take a breather and stop to smell the flowers, small things can mean a lot. You do not need to attend a motivational seminar just to get on your feet, just pause, listen, and smell the breeze – be thankful you are alive and that alone in itself will keep you going. πŸ™‚
    Mike @ motivational techniques recently posted..The KEY ingredient to CONNECTING with Women

    [Reply]

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