Friday, February 02, 2007

What Motivates You?

I would have to surmise that those involved in fitness have basically the same goals – staying fit, good health, feeling good – a quality of life that allows us to do what we want physically. These are all goals well worth the effort we expend. Now, I haven’t been pursuing this life style as many years as most, but feel fortunate to have met the right people to help me. Fred Fornicola is one of them who continues to work with me on an ongoing basis. When I drift from my focus of my workouts Fred will always re-center me with the question, “Why are you here and what are you trying to achieve?” Of course, I find myself going back to the important, and correct, answer of “good health”. Fred recently recommended I see a nutritionist to help with my diet and fueling for my cycling activities. In seeing this professional, again I was presented with the questions of what are my goals.

This brings me to the subject of this post. As I thought about what my goals are I realized, at least in my experience, there are different goals. Of course, I listed the obvious of good health. But as I wrote it out I knew, while it was the global goal, it wasn’t the goal that motivated me. When I’m trying to get one more rep and my body is screaming the thought of good health isn’t what makes me push the weight. When I’m in my weekly cycling training session and my heart rate is 172 beats per minute and my legs are burning, good health isn’t what inspires me to push one more gear for the final minute. What gets me to push is the visualization of not getting dropped by a peloton of good cyclists, or being the first one to crest a hill, or winning the final sprint after a 75 mile ride. Do I accomplish all these goals, of course not, but it’s what makes me push for that final rep. So is good health my goal – absolutely. But I have to admit it’s my ego that motivates me.

Competitive edges, prevent injury, mental discipline, staying in shape, pushing the envelope, the challenge – all great motivators but “because I can – where others can’t or won’t.” is an answer I use when someone who is inquiring about my cycling activities will ask why I choose to ride a century (100 miles) or some other physical activity that’s foreign to them. “Because I can” really says it all.

So, I’m curious, what motivates you to push that last rep or to sprint those last 50 yards? - Bob Vale, Fitness Enthusiast