The other day, I printed up all the little motivational posters that I have found all over the web and put them on a foam board. I then put it up on the wall right in front of the treadmill, so when I’m running, I can read them.
Here’s a picture of it. Click it to see full-size:
It really helps me when I’m doing intervals and running. Sometimes that short run seems like an eternity, but being able to look up at that poster and be told to keep going, not to quit, and to shoot for the stars really helps me get through it. Sometimes I just let my eyes wander over the pictures, sometimes I read the words over and over in my head and other times I systematically read EVERY word to myself to keep from obsessing on the time and my legs.
I’m considering making a slideshow of these same images on my phone so if I’m exercising at the gym instead of at home, I can refer to my phone and let it feed me inspiration at ten second intervals.
What do you do to keep inspired and running? I would love some ideas because sometimes it’s hard to get through my short running intervals.
I’ve been wearing this turtle necklace lately to remind me that “Slow and Steady Wins The Race.” The more I think about the fable of The Tortoise and the Hare, however, the more I think that everyone got the moral of the story wrong.
If you are unfamiliar with the fable of The Tortoise and the Hare, here is a brilliant Disney version of it:
Slow and steady wins the race only if the fast people dink around, get cocky and lose sight of their goals. What REALLY won that race is humility and determination. When the hare saw that he had a good lead at the first, he took a NAP! The tortoise was able to pass him. DON’T SLACK OFF!
Later, when the hare saw that he was so far ahead of the tortoise, he started playing to the audience of adorable bunny girls. So the tortoise caught up to him. BE HUMBLE.
Near the end, the tortoise is so close to the finish line and the hare is still goofing off. I love this image of him working his hardest to win the race. WORK YOUR BUTT OFF!
Finally, at the end of the race, the tortoise wins because he’s willing to stretch himself almost out of his shell. STICK YOUR NECK OUT!
Wearing my little turtle necklace reminds me of all these things and every time I’m tempted to skip a workout, I think about that turtle sneaking by while the hare took a nap. Every time I get a little too excited about losing a pound or two, I remember that tortoise plodding along while the hare flirted with the girl bunnies. Every time I think about taking it easy on my exercise, I think of that turtle busting his tiny tail to finish that race. There is so much more to that story than “slow and steady wins the race,” and I try to remember it all:
You don’t need jewelry to remind yourself of your goals, but you do need SOMETHING. Whether it’s a picture, a mantra or mannerism, you need to have something to remind yourself of all the things you want to be.
The Healthy Living Cycle: Positive Thinking leads to Feeling Good, which leads to Regular Exercise, which leads to Eating Better, which leads to Positive Thinking.
I love this image because it reminds me of how to get back on track if I am having trouble. I can get back to a healthy life just by jumping into the cycle at any point. I don’t need to immediately limit my food choices or pound my body on the treadmill. All I have to do is jump into the cycle.
Let’s say my eating has gotten out of control. In order to get it back in check, I could do any of the following things:
Write positive things in my journal
Take a walk around the neighborhood
Lift some weights
Talk to a good friend who makes me feel better about myself
Watch an inspiring movie
If you notice, none of those things involve anything to do with food, but doing enough of them will get my eating back in control.
If I’m just not willing to exercise, I could do any of the following things:
Limit my calories to account for no exercise that day
Change my diet plan to include more filling foods like protein and veggies.
Write in my journal
Meditate on all the good in my life
Call someone who loves me
Read a book that makes me feel better
Whatever your problem is, all you have to do is jump into that cycle at ANY point to solve the problem. So many times, I try to fix my eating by monitoring my eating or limiting my food choices. That actually makes things WORSE for me. Instead, I’m going to focus on other portions of the Healthy Living Cycle and they will lead to better food choices naturally.
The next time you feel discouraged, take a look at this cycle. Find out where you are having troubles and jump into the cycle at a DIFFERENT point to make things better. You’ll find that your problems don’t feel like that big of a problem anymore.
Sometimes I have to trick my mind in order to exercise. I have to pretend that zombies are chasing me or that I’m in the Hunger Games. When I saw this poster for the movie, it was inspiring to me. (Click for full-sized image.)
I’m very hard to catch, and if they can’t catch me, they can’t kill me. So don’t count me out.
It reminds me that I need to be faster and stronger to survive in this world. I don’t live in a post-apocalyptic world that sends its children to die for entertainment, but this is a competitive world and we are judged every day by the size of our bodies.
The next time you’re considering skipping your workout, take a good and hard look at this poster and change your mind. Don’t let the competition get you. You have to be strong and fast to make it in this world.
It shows all the medals hung with pride on a display that reads:
Always Earned Never Given
It’s the truth about medals just as much as about fitness. No one can give you a healthy and strong body. You MUST earn it. It’s just like that old Smith and Barney commercial:
If you replace fitness for money in that commercial, it’s more true than ever:
Good fitness doesn’t walk up, bite you on the bottom and say, “I’m here!” Getting fit takes good, old-fashioned hard work and research. The kind they do at Starling Fitness. Starling Fitness is one of a handful of top fitness blogs singled out for their work and research. Starling Fitness they get fit the old-fashioned way, they EARN it!
The same is true for winning races or even finishing them. Here’s another image from Beyond Running that rang true for me.
Most people think your life changes forever the second you cross the finish line. Runners know that your life changes forever the second you decide to go to the starting line.