When you first start to workout you have a ton of ambition, goals, and milestones that you want to hit and show off. You’re off to the races and on track to losing that weight, getting stronger, and looking amazing, but as the weeks go on and the weight isn’t coming off as easily as it had before and you feel as if you’re making no progress you fall off the wagon. That’s happened to me countless times, like the times I tried the Insanity program, Hip Hop Abs, Pilates on DVD, and BBG, plus a few more. I’ve quit so many times only to start over a few weeks later with a new “amazing” workout program that it’s a bit ridiculous.
To really get motivated to workout continuously, you have to do something that speaks to you. What speaks to me is competition. Competing is something that I love, I’ve been competitively swimming since 7th grade and then made varsity my second year in high school. I loved racing against the clock and the people in the lanes next to me. When I was first looking into doing something different but fun, I got the idea of a triathlon, a half triathlon because honestly, I never ran a day in my life so how in the world would I run 6 miles. At the time, I was like “this is perfect I’ll be amazing let’s aim for top place” even though I knew I wasn’t going to get there, I didn’t but I did come in first overall for the swimming portion. The triathlon was horrible, my bike broke going up and down the hills and I was out of breath and out of general shape for the run, but I finished I put myself out there with a group of strangers and had a blast.
I learned about CrossFit around the same time I signed up for the triathlon and started pestering my mom about letting me join and coming with me, but since my Grandma ended up passing away we had to put it off for a couple months. Then later when swim started up and my coach required that we went to 5:30 am weightlifting 3x a week, which first of all was no fun, secondly I was ALWAYS late, and most importantly I wasn’t getting any results with the way he had his program set up and it felt like a waste of my time, since I was already spending 21+ hours a week in the pool.
So, I went looking for a gym membership, or a workout program that I could do on my own and work at my own pace, which was when CrossFit came back into the equation. Luckily for me there was a “box”, what a CrossFit gym is called that never made sense to me, that was nearby and is run by the nicest family. They trained me from the ground up from the proper form for cleans and thrusters to deadlifts and back squats. I started from the bottom dying on burpees, using the 15 lbs. beginners bar, and using a black band to do pull-ups. Going in I thought that I was a rather fit person since I had the endurance from swimming but while on the outside I looked fit, it was mainly fat with little muscle.
Now this part might sound a little weird but was one of my biggest motivations, it was my butt. Known also as, gluteus maximus, derrière, or tush. What once was all cellulite, flat, and had that weird bumpy look to it was getting firmer, and slowly turning into muscle rather than a useless fat storage center. I was so proud of myself for that small progresses I was making, that I wanted more of it. Soon my biceps weren’t as soft as they were before and even though I still have stomach fat you can feel my abs underneath that.
It was hard, I may have cried through a few workouts thinking “I just can’t do this anymore, I give up, I’m done,” I hated the workouts at times and was angry that there were people doing so much better than me. That’s what challenged me to be better though, while the people I was working out with in no way saw the workouts as a competition of who could be done first, that’s what I saw it as. It was almost like a game to me, figuring out the best way to split up the long sets or how I needed to pace myself. Now I’m not the top athlete, I still can’t get a stupid pull-up (one of the reasons that I’m trying to lose some weight), but I like to think that my 195 lbs. deadlift and the ability of back squatting more than my weight makes me only a bit under the CrossFit average. I’m slowly getting there.
I guess what I’m really trying to say is that to find what motivates you and gives you reason to get up at 5 in the morning. You need to find how you workout best, whether it be a group or individual setting. You need to find something that you absolutely hands down no doubt LOVE to do. It has to be something that you look forward to doing even though your body is sore or you have a ton of studying to do. It needs to be your stress reliever, the thing you annoy your friends talking about, your addiction. You need to have that yearning or your motivation will be gone in a snap.