Searching for fitness motivation


By Derek Todd


I always thought equipment didn’t help to make the athlete successful, but it was the mental motivation and natural-born talent that propelled one to greatness. I was proud I didn’t need fancy running clothes or the latest track shoe technology to do well in sports. However, at nearly 30 years old, the motivation to stay in shape with no reason to do so makes it difficult for this former athlete to be great at anything.

Looking to shed some pounds, I recently joined We Run Westfield, a group of Westfield employees and residents training for this year’s Indianapolis Mini-Marathon. I began my training a few weeks ago and it has been torture. A typical run usually ends with me sucking air for dear life while lying on the floor of my living room praying I don’t die. And every time I finish a run, I think to myself there is no way I am going to be able to do it all over again the next day. So how does one stay motivated?

The health benefits of exercise have been scientifically proven. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to want to go on a brisk run rather than sit on my couch and eat a pint of Handel’s Ice Cream while watching reruns of “Seinfeld.” Recently, I’ve found motivation to exercise by hanging two pictures on my refrigerator – one when I was younger, skinner and healthier, and the other a picture of me taken when I was overweight and in bad lighting. This way, whenever I walk to the kitchen, I am reminded of the person I used to be before I began living my couch potato lifestyle.

I have also found benefits to exercising with a friend or group of people that have the same fitness goals as me. Do I try to find someone more overweight and out of shape than me so I can feel better about myself – sure.But the importance of having an accountability partner or partners keeps me motivated because we are able to support each other to work harder and stick with our fitness goals.

Think about things that help motivate you. Maybe it’s seeing a picture of your out-of-shape self, or the support of a fitness partner. Whatever it is, get up off the couch and start moving toward a healthier you.