My mini-vacation was very active involving at least 26,000 steps a day (you’re the real MVP, Jawbone Up), two soulcycle classes, yoga in Millennium Park and a 5 mile run. So, my fitness definitely didn’t take a backseat. I did have deep dish for every dinner possible, so, you know, balance.
I am very aware that I was the only one on the trip to make a concerted effort to get up at 7:30 am to get a workout in after some of our later nights, but that’s just something that I do. It comes with the territory of knowing me. I don’t lack in the motivation department that’s for sure, but I’m also hyper aware I’m in the vast minority over here. Most people I know turn to other sources for motivation.
My dad is very intrinsically motivated too, but when I got him a Jawbone Up for Christmas one year, he put the pedal to the metal and 10,000 steps minimum was not just a daily goal but a daily requirement. One of my other friends is motivated by signing up for classes instead of hitting the gym on her own time. Others I know find motivation through social media and following those who post about their own journeys.
I, personally, love learning about what other people have done and are doing in terms of their fitness when I need that extra oomph. Nothing motivates me quite like scrolling through Instagram and reading about other people crushing their workouts when I really don’t want to go. But, I always take it with a grain of salt. Remember that the people whose days your reading about are often only presenting the good parts. They don’t always show a picture of them struggling to get motivation themselves, having a meal where they got uncomfortably full while celebrating a good friend’s birthday, or just having a bad
life hair day. A lot of the times, the more celebrity a person is, the less personal they come off. And while that can be great for motivation, it’s not entirely accurate.
I’ll be the first to tell you, there are going to be days when you don’t want to workout. I defy you to find me a person who has not felt this way. But you know what, on those days you have two choices: dust off your bootstraps and get to steppin’ or take a mental health day and just do you. Contrary to popular belief, not every workout has to be the best workout you’ve ever had and that’s okay and normal! But that’s not necessarily what every page would have you believe.
I have actually started to unfollow some bigger accounts in favor of smaller ones because I’m kind of sick of looking at perfectly styled clothes and immaculately coifed hair in pictures with the caption “just killed my workout”. Granted, I suppose you could look like that after an insanely hard session, but the odds of you looking like a sweaty mongrel are slightly higher and that’s just what I want to see. I want to see people like me who are just trying to better themselves and not always trying to get the latest endorsement deal or make a boatload of money from taking pretty pictures.
Next time you need a little push, think about how far you yourself have come instead of turning to a perfectly curated page of fitness glory. Even if you’re just starting to hit the gym, give yourself a damn pat on the back for all the times you’ve done something to better yourself. Maybe you can jog a mile quicker than when you started. Maybe you don’t feel as out of breath when you’re on the bike. Maybe you can pick up heavier weights today than yesterday. The progress will come and you will be proud of it, I promise. But know that at the end of the day, you and you alone are the one who is bettering themselves and that’s pretty awesome.