It’s the end of January and I’ve noticed that a lot of people on Pinterest have stopped pinning pictures like this:
Now I’m not judging; that nacho bar looks dope.
On New Year’s Day, I went running in my neighborhood and I distinctly remember seeing A LOT of people out getting their run on. People of all sizes wearing all their new gear they bought for the new year (me included). But yesterday I went running my same route, and I didn’t see a single other runner…It was like 57 degrees and sunny at 10am on a Saturday morning: PEAK running conditions for Portland. Then this morning, the gym was noticeably empty…
I have a lot of time to think while I’m out running (another benefit of getting out there), and I sort of agonized where all the people were. Was there a big sale I was missing? Is there a national crisis happening? Ultimately, I sadly decided that people have already forgotten their fitness resolutions. Am I right?
A couple weeks ago in Hawaii, I worked out EVERY SINGLE DAY. It was awesome. I imagined myself trying out for mini-Iron Man (I believe they call it “Tin Man” but I’m super short so I’m going with “mini). I ran along the beach, I swam laps in the ocean, I lifted weights in the park next to the meat heads. Then I came back to cold and dark and rainy-ass Portland and my workout steam was gone. I could barely get up in the morning, let alone slowly jog out a few miles in the rain. Hellll no.
Luckily I have a regular boot camp with my co-workers that’s non-negotiable so I didn’t completely slack off, but my head was not in it. I work out 4-6 times a week so I permit myself an occasional pass like that. In Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, he said he tries to finish his runs on a high-point – like when he’s feeling really good; that will get him back out the next day. I like that idea, and this last week was semi-miserable, which told me to just lay in bed instead.
But yesterday the sun was out and I had nothing to do all day, so I forced myself outside. Guess what? It wasn’t so bad. Actually, it was kind of good. All the same, I was going to allow myself to skip today’s workout if I wasn’t feeling it. AFter a cup of coffee, I opened my New Rules of Lifting book just to browse, and ended up preparing a super tough weightlifting session for my morning instead. It’s all mental.
So if you’ve given up on your resolutions, or you feel a dip coming, here are some of the things I do to get myself out the door:
1. Buy new workout clothes – Seriously – this one works. Duh.
2. Get a buddy – Last year, my bff, Courtney, and I decided that we were spending too much time drinking wine and playing the jukebox. We didn’t say we wouldn’t go out and have drinks anymore, but instead made a pact that if we were going to, we’d workout first. It totally worked. We did boot camp and climbed stairs and went spinning all the time.
3. Get a trainer – I don’t currently have a trainer, but I definitely have worked with a great one for many years in the past and it’s the only way to go if you’re feeling a little lost or unmotivated. I learned so much and learned to really love going to the gym. There are usually package deals in January, too.
4. Get a subscription to SHAPE or Women’s Fitness or something like it – When I get my new magazine in the mail, I instantly get inspired to try something new (usually workout and food related).
5. Before falling asleep, visualize your workout – It sounds cheesy, I know, but for me it works. I learned this when I was in physical therapy for my knee. On Friday night, I totally imagined myself out running my regular route with my headphones in, and when I woke up, it was like I had already mentally prepared for the challenge. I also read Michael Phelps does a lot of this for his olympic swimming…so that’s a pro-tip for y’all.
6. Check in at the gym on Facebook or post your run – Some people hate me for this, but that’s their problem. I like to share my workout with my other runner friends, and I honestly enjoy seeing what other people are doing for their workouts. Last year, my friend Darcy was posting about how she could barely make a couple miles on the treadmill, now she’s out at 5am running like10 miles in the freezing cold! Like multiple times a week! That’s pretty inspiring.
7. Eat some dope nachos after you run – I’m not advocating a binge after you workout, but every once in awhile, it feels good. Something to think about if you’re headed to a Superbowl party next weekend…
I’m not a personal trainer or a nutritionist or anything like that, which is why I think my advice is more credible. I’m not paleo or gluten-free or even an amateur marathon running. I’m just a regular person trying to be regular healthy – and I’m here to represent.
Two words: PIZZA NACHOS.