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The Bullhorn, Issue #047 -- Monthly Motivator for February 2010
February 15, 2010

Just the right push to succeed!

Just Do it…
because you want to

I used to think that sneaker slogan (“Just Do it”) perfectly captured the essence of what it takes to keep going. But over time, I’ve found that the motivation qualities of have to became less and less effective at getting my weary body out of bed each morning. I also found that while my body liked to stay in bed, I was a lot happier when I got out of bed and just did the workout. A few hours of sleep provides a lot less reward than a few-hour run. And that’s when it hit me: I want to run…not because of the health benefits, the training goals, or the finisher medals and foil blankets. I want to run because I like it. Sure, it’s a different kind of “fun” than other recreational hobbies, but I like it.

The military is very effective at getting their recruits in top physical shape. Why? Because they have to. What happens when they don’t have to any longer? Most of them don’t. We need to view our workouts as something that we actually want to do, if we want them to last. If your fitness routine is something that you’re forcing yourself to do to get into shape…it will very hard to sustain. Look for the positive effects of your exercise routine and focus on the good. Think about the feeling of that post-workout shower or the sense of accomplishment when you reach a goal or milestone. If you focus on it enough, you’ll hopefully find that the reasons to exercise far outweigh the reasons not to exercise…and that it’s something you actually want to do.

I continue to notice the impacts that positive and negative moods have on my work-outs. The long runs where I enjoy the scenery and am thankful to be out there are much more enjoyable then the long runs where I literally countdown each mile. A few months ago, I ran in a heavy rain storm that was so comical (blinded by rain…soaked to bone…roads turned into streams) that it had me laughing out loud and totally enjoying the workout, despite the extreme weather.

So the next time you drive to the gym, wake up for a morning run, or stay up a few more minutes in the evening to do some calisthenics, focus on all of the reasons that you want to do it and that temporary discomfort of exercise will evaporate into a tremendous feeling of accomplishment!

Motivational Book:
Ultra Marathon Man

After signing up for my first ultra, I thought what better book to read than Ultra Marathon Man by Dean Karnazes. I was looking for some training insights and what I got was a tremendous amount of inspiration and motivation!

His stories of endurance feats are awe-inspiring. Races that most of us have never heard of: the Western States 100; the Badwater 135-miler thru Death Valley; the 199-mile “relay” (most choose teams….Team Dean ran it solo!); and the 1st ever South Pole Marathon!

But this book is much more than a compilation of running tales. It’s an entertaining insight into a family-man that chased his passion…right out of his San Francisco office and onto the streets & trails of the world! It’s a real life Forrest Gump story…except he’s still running!

Runners of all ages and stages will enjoy this book and the adventurous tales of Dean Karnazes – Ultra Marathon Man. Check out the full book review here. Happy Running!

Exercise of the Month:
Bicycle Crunches!

This exercise is a very productive ab exercise, as it works both the rectus abdominals (“washboard” or “6-pack”), and the oblique abdominals (sides). While on your back, place your hands behind your head and lift your torso slightly off the ground. Bring your feet 6 inches off the ground to start. Begin by pulling your left knee towards your right elbow, then straighten out your left leg and bring your right knee towards your left elbow. That is one repetition. The movement of your legs should be similar to peddling a bicycle. The movement of your elbows should be done by pulling your back off the ground, not by bending or straining your neck. Try 10-25 repetitions to start off with, depending on your ability. You want to stress your muscles with this exercise, but don’t take them to the point of exhaustion. It’s better to gradually increase repetitions over time than it is to do the maximum amount possible…followed by down-time due to over-fatigue or injury.

Sound Off!

If you have any feedback (positive or negative), success stories to share, or suggestions for future articles, please feel free to drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you and we take all feedback, suggestions...and yes, even criticism very seriously. We’ll use this information to improve our newsletter and The Fitness Motivator site to help you and others like you attain your fitness goals.

Encouragement to Succeed!

P.S. - Please feel free to forward this to a friend!

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