I had grand plans to run twice a week on this new “running program” I’ve created for myself. I started off okay last Saturday. I ran for 15 minutes and was feeling pretty motivated to keep at it.
Wednesday rolled around, the day I’d planned to head out to a local park and get my run on, but I skipped it.
On Tuesday, I’d done a really tough pilates class and when I woke up on Wednesday I was sore. Like seriously sore.
So I did some stretching and a light yoga session in my bedroom and then got on with my day.
All day I felt guilty about it. All day I felt like I was already failing, like I was never going to get into running shape.
I had a whole basket full of excuses. I didn’t just blame being sore. I blamed the weather. It’s been raining all week and I’ve been avoiding going outside as much as possible.
I also blame the fact that I don’t have a car and getting to a nearby park requires calling an Uber (albeit a really, really cheap Uber) and there I have my pile of excuses ready and waiting for why I couldn’t go for a run mid-week. I felt like all of that wasted time in the car could be spent doing some work or some other type of exercise that doesn’t require me to spend 15 minutes in an Uber each way.
When I make these excuses, I start to feel bad about other things.
- Well if only I lived in a neighborhood where I could just go out and run instead of having to go to a park I’d be so much more motivated.
- If only I didn’t live in a city that experienced rainy season for four months of the year, I wouldn’t be so unmotivated by the weather.
- If only I didn’t work from home then I would already be out of the house during the day and therefore more motivated to stop by a park on my way home.
It’s all ridiculous, right? When I write it all down and read it back to myself it is literally #firstworldproblems.
I am so lucky to be able to work from home and choose my own hours. I am so lucky to live in such a big city with so many great parks and amenities. I’m so lucky to live somewhere where I don’t need a car at all and can save tons of money on that with cheap public transport and super cheap Ubers. And when it’s not the wet season it’s bright and sunny and wildly warm outside, even in December.
It’s so easy to tell yourself that things are too hard and that you’ll just do it later. It’s so easy to lower your expectations and talk yourself out of doing the work.
I know that this Saturday when I order my Uber and take it to the park I’m going to laugh at how silly it was that I put it off during the week. I know it’s going to be totally worth the small expense and the time spent in the car to enjoy time in the huge park where there are tons of trails and green space to stretch afterward.
The thing is, these sort of stumbles happen at all levels of fitness. Even when I’ve been on track and running for a few days a week, heck, even when I was training for a marathon, I still made excuses to skip workouts during the week.
The struggle is to just keep moving forward. The real struggle is not to punish yourself by making the next workout even harder because you should have done one the other day. The difficult part is not to feel demotivated or like you don’t belong in this sport or in this gym or doing this youtube workout.
But you are good enough. I am good enough. These blips are going to happen. These mental and emotional roadblocks are going to happen. They’re going to happen whether you’re trying to start running for the first time or for the thousandth time.
We just have to figure out the best way to push on. For me, that means forgiving myself. It means forgetting about that missed run and planning for the next one. It means setting realistic goals for myself and also a few that I feel like aren’t realistic, but definitely are.
It’s about being positive in other aspects of my life so that it carries over into everything that I do, including my running. When one thing goes wrong, I can’t succumb to the desire to whine and complain about everything that I wish was different. Otherwise, I’ll fall into that terrible rabbit hole of demotivation in everything that I do.
Please tell me I’m not the only person who gets like this?
How do you motivate yourself? Do these sorts of things ever happen to you? How do you move forward and stick to your running schedule in the future? How do you let go of the excuses? I’d love you to share your advice in the comments!
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