My Lack of Motivation

I am so unmotivated. I write a blog about running and I struggle to motivate myself to go running. It’s hard. Not just because of the entire process of coming back from an injury, but running is hard. It’s cold outside. My feet hurt. My headphones died while I was out. I got lost. My feet got wet in the snow. It’s slushy. It takes me 20 minutes to get all my running gear on because of the weather, and then I am nearly frozen by the time I get back (and then it takes me another 20 minutes to get the running gear off, maybe even longer because my hands are frozen). It’s dark outside. It’s too bright outside. I’d rather sit on the couch wrapped in 10 blankets and read.

There are a lot of excuses. Some are real (it is really cold outside), some are just me being less enthusiastic than I used to be. I attribute this to the fact that I can run about 1km before I have to walk for a couple minutes. I can run again, but I can’t seem to get more than 1km in any one go. My injury acts up and I really don’t want to antagonize it to the point where I can’t run at all again.

What I have taken up is adding in walking. On days when my arm feels really bad, I go for a walk. It might be only 10km total, but I can do it consistently and feel better afterwards. All of those excuses are still there (the weather doesn’t change just because my attitude does) but I feel more like myself. Sometimes I take a coffee on the walk and go slowly, or sometimes the pace is nearly a jog. When I stopped making excuses for myself, it became 1000 times easier to enjoy it.

When I couldn’t run at all, I was so miserable. Even when I could only sometimes run, I was just as unhappy because I couldn’t get that freedom of movement, that feeling of being complete with my body, not the way that I used to. I was making running a chore because I couldn’t be as successful as I used to be. I wasn’t enjoying it.

That’s a big part of why I love running. Because I enjoy it. Because there is more to being outside on the road or the trails than just the exercise. It’s independence, relaxation, silence (or music), and freedom. Running isn’t a transactional relationship: I give you my time and energy, you give me… fitness (energy, athleticism, positivity, whatever). The act of running is actually giving all of those things and then loving all of the time and energy that were put into it.

Walking, jogging, hiking, all of those are the same. That was something I did not appreciate before to the same degree. I was always impressed by people who made the decision to be as active as they could and wanted to be, but I always felt that running was the only option for me. Now, I can appreciate the differences and still enjoy all of them.

Even if it does take me 20 minutes to get dressed for it.

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