Fitness motivation conversations are like a bomb waiting to go off. Some of you used to be athletes, dance class addicts, gym rats, and at some point you just stopped. Stopped going to the gym, cancelled that dance class, quit running around your local high school track.
Pick a reason. Pick an excuse.
Fitness motivation is all about getting back that workout. Despite those reasons and excuses.
A few weeks back I shared some advice on recovering from an injury and getting back on track with your fitness goals. Yesterday I took a huge helping of that advice and went running outdoors for the first time in two months.
For anyone who is under a bucket of snow on the East Coast of the US, or anywhere else in the world and shivering in winter weather, I apologize for our bizarre California weather. If it makes you feel any better, our complete lack of wet winter weather has officially put us in a drought. That didn’t stop this last break between North Bay Area storms from letting us get out in 70 degree weather this weekend.
I followed my husband and the Sonoma County Photography Group he co-organizes to a beautiful outdoor excursion to Armstrong Redwoods. This little patch of redwood grove is in west Sonoma County and is home to the Colonel Armstrong tree, the oldest in this grove and estimated to be over 1,400 years old.
At some point in my youth I must have visited this oasis of a forest, but this is my first time back in years. The trees are still majestic, towering hundreds of feet in the air and offering a dense cover, making the morning a chilly 45 degrees under the canopy.
One task for the day was to borrow my husband’s photography skills and capture some great fitness photos of my running through the forest before I went for an actual run. You know, try and get the essence of how healthy fitness looks right before you start dripping with sweat.
Wet dark backgrounds are beautiful contrast to my super-neon workout wardrobe, until you try and capture something moving in that dark environment. We settled for a few fun still shots of my usual messing around and went our separate ways winding through the forest paths.
I didn’t realize how low my energy had been until 5 minutes into my run.
With my leg injury bugging me and the weather relegating my few short run workouts to the dreaded treadmill, I hadn’t realized that my reluctance to get back to longer runs wasn’t just a fear of hurting myself again. It was a sort of fitness de-motivation.
Being injured affects your ability to move, but not only physically. I was afraid of re-injuring myself, but the real fear was that I’d lost it. The “it” I am referring to is that ease, the pace, the lung capacity, the feel that would kick in 15-20 minutes into a workout that makes everything click.
Ask anyone who had found fitness in the past and had gained a sense of happiness and strength from it, and for whatever reason stopped, how they feel again when they find that spark again.
My experience feels like a light growing brighter in my mind.
It starts out dim and hidden behind all the thoughts that want to stop me from putting on my running shoes. Eventually the light is so bright is obliterates all those negative ideas from my mind.
This is the runner high. You can find this in any workout that makes you smile.
This is what keeps me going when other parts of my body are reminding me that I haven’t done this in a really long time.
I won’t say it didn’t hurt. Trail running uses so many little stabilizer muscles that just don’t get used as often when running on a steady, hard surface like a asphalt. My foam roller is my friend and nemesis at the moment.
But I keep remembering how it felt with each footfall on soft redwood strewn paths, giant trees and dappled light. Deep breaths of cool air and smiling at fellow photographers as I looped around, one more time.
That spark, the reason you want to find fitness motivation is there.
You know what it is. I really wish I could find it for you, bottle it up and hand deliver it in a gorgeous box tied with a bow. I am truly sorry I can’t do that.
But you can deliver that gift to yourself everyday.
I hope to hear how you found your fitness motivation in the comments! You never know who will be inspired next.
Go get your fit on – Heather
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Latest posts by Heather Montgomery, Get Fit (see all)
- Fitness Motivation: Get Back to Your Fitness Dream - 03/10/2014
Fitness Motivation: Get Back to Your Fitness Dream by The 8 Women Dream Project, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.