What Motivates You To Go To The Gym?
They say that motivation don’t last. Well, neither does taking a bath. That’s why you do it on a daily basis. Zig Ziglar
Well, that depends.
But it seems an important enough subject and one that’s close enough to my heart to give a little thought to.
What is motivation, anyway? How do I get it? How do I keep it, once I get it. Am I able to integrate it internally so it will always be at hand, within range and readily available. Can I make this state of motivation reproducible on a consistent & continuing basis. These are some of the peculiar ruminations I’ve been throwing at myself in the mirror.
And here’s what bounces back, even if they aren’t the big answers to the problem, I guarantee that they’ll be minus the con, which you can, of course, get from likes of Tony Robbins, Tim Ferris, YouTube Pyramid Salesmen, Local Gurus, et.al. (but sometimes a guy like Joe Rogan comes up with the genuine goods).
√√√ Motivation is this slippery sort of animal. Most people who don’t possess it think that it’s a sort of gift that is somehow bestowed upon the lucky recipient, like being tall, dark, rich and handsome. Or they think it’s like a 1 night stand, here then gone.
Personally, I think of the whole thing more like a hungry wolf chasing the postman madly peddling his rickety bicycle down the road oblivious to the large oak tree looming up quickly that he is on a collision course with. √√√
The following is some random material from a draft of a larger piece of blog that I am going to get around to one of these days. When I can muster the motivation, of course.
Ok, the problem with really getting it right in the gym and ensuring that your training sessions are going to be as productive as possible is the acceptance that you’re, always going to be working under suboptimal conditions, less than 100% and constantly hemmed in by situations that will offer you challenges of some description or other. Sometimes the Gods of Fortune just feel churlish and may toss a very nasty surprise indeed along your path. And often when you least expect or are ready for it.
Here are some silly Examples: 1) you’ve finally got access to a great gym, but your genetics aren’t brilliant; 2) you’ve got good genetics, but your wife’s just about to produce another baby (the 2nd one in less than 2 years); 3) you’ve found the perfect training partner who is supportive and always shows up, but you’ve also just bought a house and are struggling with mortgage payments; 4) everything is really going great, you’re making great gains in the gym and really putting on some buff, then you get injured. You know stuff that you don’t need and didn’t see coming. I am sure that you can come up with lots of better and more meaningful examples.
Your success in the gym won’t depend on what websites you visit, what gear you just bought off Amazon or whether your hero and training role model is Arnold, Zane, Dave Draper, Dorian, Lee Priest, Kai, Nadine Skinner, Ben Pakulski, Larissa, Rich Piana (RIP) or Oprah Winfrey. And I really do hope that I don’t get a knock on my door from any of these guys’ (or girls’) hit men (or hit women) or their lawyers, because I think that they’re all great.
Living on someone else’s kicks and smart moves is a pretty cheap date that ultimately won’t propel the person that you want to become to stardom. And motivation, at least the kind that lasts, can’t be bought no matter who’s trying to sell it to you.
Like discipline, those who possess motivation are often ones who need it the most. This certainly rings true in my case. It’s like eating or breathing. You know what happens to those who get too little of these vital necessities. The only difference with motivation, as far as I can see, is where you decide to put it in the hierarchy of your survival toolkit.
Unless you happen to be an incredibly fortunate individual and have a little good luck fairy glued securely to your shoulder, Ms. Reality’s and Dr. Life are prone to be a rather devious and unjust pair of bitches. That may be just who they are, that may just be the way it is. If you somehow manage to Subdue either of these harpies into something else, through persistence, blood, sweat, act of will, tears, voodoo, luck or whatever…don’t take it for granted that they come tagged with lifetime guarantees of good behaviour.
If you think that they do and believe that you are all set and good to go, or are thinking that you’ll just sort of maybe sit it out and perhaps wait until the stars are aligned correctly, all the omens are thumbs up and the Great Cornucopia of Plenty is somehow going to open up and sluice you in Greatness & Good Fortune when lovely Lady Motivation comes a-knocking at your door, all I can say is ‘good luck with that, hombre‘.
What is more likely to come to pass is that you’ll be waiting yourself into the grave for the next 20 years or so.
Does all this sound a little off the wall? What does this have to do with motivation, anyway. Do I just sound like some half-witted, bitter, miserable, disappointed, ageing gym rat trying to throw a couple of litres of dirty water on your sunny parade? Am I just talki to hear myself speak? Gee, I hope not. That’s certainly not my intention here. Really, this is the last thing that I wish to do. I would rather think that it’s like an act of pouring some ‘tough love’ into something that I truly care about. Hoping that some readers will make some sense of it and find it useful in dealing with their motivation issue.
Although knowledge and experience are required (of course genetics is always useful, too) what I believe is absolutely essential are the 3 R’s: resiliency, relentlessness & ruthless optimism. These are the main mandatory survival assets necessary to leverage against all obstacles that are threats to you, your progress and your ambition to get motivated.
And, uh, almost forgot, one more thing. You’re probably going to need to be get friendly with the idea of being selfish. I don’t mean that in the sense that you need to be an asshole or a total selfish bastard. I do mean that in order to win against the mighty gargoyles of adversity and self-doubt, and in order to win out against the tall pile of odds not stacked in your favour, it is a rather good idea to be convinced that what you are doing in the gym is very important. In fact, you need to convince yourself that it matters a great deal. Because it does. It is not just some self-indulgent pastime that you are sheepishly sneaking around doing this week because you haven’t grown up yet or have nothing better to do. That description is for people who want to sit around getting fat and old, the same ones who are going to eventually just give up and are praying that you will, too.
But I digress and think there is a possibility of starting to bore any reader who has managed to make it with me this far.
You just wanted a simple answer to a simple question? So, here it is:
Just the desire to transcend your beginnings. Just the belief that you will get what you want, come what may.
In other words, the best motivational strategies are the one’s that work and keep on working. The ones that get you up an into the gym. The ones that help you train like you give a fuck and make it stick.
The above motivational mindset is the one that seems real and that works for me.
Nothing else is likely to work as well. At least, nothing that I know of.