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Monday, February 04, 2008

Aimees Soapbox February 2008

February 2008: Mojo Finder
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Greetings Groovy Soapbox Readers!
Motivation is a funny thing. Last year, I had brain surgery AND I turned forty. Both did a number on my motivation to exercise. One took more of a toll than the other, of course. I mean, brain surgery was fine; it that big four-oh thing that really knocked me for a loop.
As the saying goes, to everything there is a season. So maybe it was OK to ease up a bit last year, watch more TV and run less miles, only race a few times and sleep in late on the weekends more. But after more than 25 years of running, and five years of national-level competition in dragon boating, I guess I had programmed myself to go-go-go. Chillin' didn't come easy, you know?
Now I know that you can't get motivation from anyone or anything else except yourself. I mean, sure, you can get stirred up by a rousing speech, or inspired by a great book, or even pushed by a concerned family member. But that LASTING motivation, the thing that makes you put down the donut or get up early to exercise or stub out that last cigarette, absolutely has to come from you.
If you say that someone (or something) else motivates you, then you give all your power over to that person (or thing). So what happens when the speech is done or you finish the book? Are you saying that the speaker or author took your motivation when he left? While an outside force can certainly jump-start you, you and you alone are responsible for maintaining your own motivation.
OK, so after all that, why did I ask for ideas for a new training goal from you, my Groovy Readers? Was I giving up my personal power and putting it on you to re-find my own mojo?
For me, I had had enough of being inside my own mopey head and was looking for some fresh ideas. I knew I wanted to get back to it; I just didn't have any new ideas for myself. So I reached out to my buds. And you guys did not disappoint! If you read last month's column, you saw some of the great ideas sent my way!
And so, now, after dragging my feet as long as I could on announcing a winner, I will come clean. The winning entry came from my husband! Now before you cry nepotism, let me 'splain. Turns out...I am expecting! So I have to give the prize to my husband. Because I don't think that they want any seven-months-pregnant women in the Tough Competition in June.
Brain surgery, a birthday milestone, and becoming a first-time mother at forty? Yikes. Motivation could certainly be threatened again! But I think I need to walk my own talk now. If I really believe all the philosophical stuff I've written here over the years, then I know that I am just starting a big, new learning curve, and that right there should motivate me to stay healthy, fit, and active right on through, just as if there were no (baby) bump in my path. Gotta be in shape for this next adventure! Next year, though, look out Conestoga Trail Race! You're all mine!
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