Drawing motivation from the Olympics

My alarm went off at 6am. Without hesitation I leaped out of bed, threw on my tights and instead of turning on the News, I turned on the Olympics. I have an addiction to TV when the Olympics are on. And thanks to Bell TV, I can watch them on my phone almost anywhere. As I scarfed down a pear and laced up my sneakers, CBC informed me that while I slept, Canada earned two more gold medals. The network then recapped the Olympic moment, showed a clip of the gold medal run, followed by an interview with the winning athlete. While I wouldn’t consider myself a “crier”, every time I watch the athletes stand on a podium I find myself fighting tears. I can’t imagine how special that moment is for them. These athletes train tirelessly everyday for years in hopes to conquer big in that one moment, and when they finally do, the experience must be truly overwhelming. Feeling inspired I turned off the TV, threw on my jacket and headed out for a 6km tempo run. As I ran through the dark streets, I thought to myself “although I am alone, I bet someone else is up running the streets, hitting the gym or training to reach their goal”. On the weekend, I met up with a friend who mentioned he finds it easier to stay motivated and keep to a gym schedule when he trains with a friend; but since him and his friend currently work different schedules, he struggles to get himself to the gym. While I agree working out with a friend provides support and accountability, you can’t let your life and your health be determined by the motivation, or lack there of, by another. Although I do most of my training alone, I never feel alone. Sure, it’s not always easy to get myself out of bed, but I do it knowing that my goal means so much more to me than sixty more minutes of sleep. Also, do you think the gold medal athletes got to where they are by skipping the gym? I know most of you are thinking, “I’m not training for the Olympics”, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have goals and work to attain them. I’ve watched people of all shapes and sizes commit to goals, even when they thought it was impossible, and a few months later they proved to themselves that it was possible! I am one of those people. The day I told myself I was going to run the Ottawa marathon the following year I couldn’t run for 10 minutes. One year later, I crossed the finish line.

Last Saturday, after I officially signed up for my 50km run, my mind went into serious training mode. I told myself that if this is what I really wanted it would require me to do a lot of research and be very dedicated to my training for the next six months. I intentionally announced it on my blog, on Facebook and on Twitter since announcing my goals force me to commit. Possibility lives in language and declaring what you want out loud makes it real! In addition, when other people know what you’ve committed too you’d be surprised how supportive they are.

This week it hit me that I don’t know much about trail running, so research and connecting with friends in the fitness field was my top priority. I’ve been doing two workouts a day; one in the morning and one at night and I must say it hasn’t been easy. Not only do I need to put in the kilometres, but I have to do strength training to ensure that I can conquer the steep inclines and rough terrain of the trail. Four days in and I’m realizing that this is not only exhausting, but it takes up a lot of time. That being said, my day becomes very structured and I manage to accomplishment more because I know that my goal is at stake!

The Olympics are a great reminder that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, you can do anything, even win a gold medal, so long as you declare that THAT’s what you want to do and then go out, work hard and do it!

Burpee Count: 440


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