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April 14, 2011

WITH DISCIPLINE, THERE IS NO NEED FOR MOTIVATION

I have been asked quite a bit lately how I got my running legs back...how I shed some (not all) of my baby pounds...and how I make time in my busy day for exercise.

I usually start my answer with a laugh...because if they really knew how unmotivated I am - most days - they wouldn't have turned to me for a response. After I gain my composure, I usually fess up that I'm really unmotivated and it takes every inch of my being to make myself put on my running shoes and get out there. I always think honesty is the best policy, even if it does make me look like a lazy sack of potatoes. Every person who has asked me about this has been really surprised to hear that I'm unmotivated. I guess I give off this vibe that I eat, sleep, and dream in my running shoes.

Just for the record - I don't sleep in my shoes but I do dream about them alot.

RC's philosophy on motivation, and more importantly, discipline, can be summed up in one of his famous quotes. He's got a lot of them...some are great - "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"...and some...well, some make me feel like kicking him in the shin. For example, "you make time for the things that are important to you." He uses that one when he hears someone (usually me) complaining about not having enough time to run. To him, and Team POD, making time to run is done because it's important to the runner. If you polled all the members of Team POD, I bet most would say they run for the fun of the competition (even if they are only competing with themselves) or the fun of accomplishing a lifelong dream of running a marathon, posting a personal record at a specific distance, or beating their husband/wife/son/best friend/etc at a local race. Team POD eats, sleeps and dreams about the importance of running. Because they make the time for it (because it's important to them), it becomes a more of a matter of routine and discipline and less of a matter of being motivated to do it.

It didn't dawned on me until last night (after having yet ANOTHER conversation with Troy about how I can't get everything done that I want to), that if you have discipline, motivation is not issue. In other words, you don't have to be motivated to do something if you are disciplined to make it a part of your routine. So, all those times I wanted to kick RC in the shin for saying his famous statement (and once, I wanted to kick Marcus in the shin for repeating it to me), I should have been REALLY listening to what he had to say, rather than just taking the statement at face value.

Because have you met me before? I am one of the most disciplined people I've ever met. I know that's not the most humbling statement that has every come out of my mouth, but it's the truth - and I take great pride in it. When I was studying for the CPA exam, I got my rear end up every morning at 4am to study for three hours before going to work. When I was in grad school, I did the same thing. When I decided to be done with debt, I cut my spending to next to nothing to get it done quickly and painlessly. When I decided to run a marathon before my 30th birthday, I put together a schedule and did it - even with having no prior running experience.

I truly love the fact that I am disciplined. Because of my discipline I have been able to accomplish alot of things that I might otherwise just dream about (as a side note: I'm not a "dreamer"...if I'm going to daydream about something, it's going to be something practical, like how I would have our home remodeled if it doesn't sell.)

At any rate, my point here (and don't you love that I'm actually getting to a POINT) is that I shouldn't have any trouble making time for running in my everyday life. I've been totally over thinking it...thinking that motivation comes from "enjoying" running rather than accepting the fact that motivation comes from being disciplined - and subsequently when you're disciplined to accomplish a task there is much enjoyment from succeeding at it!

Holy cow - how come I didn't think of this before?

So, now we've established the fact that I'm disciplined. But how do I fit running into my daily schedule? I've got this whole new job called being a "mommy" that monopolized most of my day. In addition to that, I've still got my other jobs - being a wife, cooking dinner, being the CFO for our personal and business lives, doing laundry, being the treasurer for our local track club and our local Komen affiliate, spending time with family and friends...the list could go on.

I know I hate running in the morning. Besides the fact that I'm scared to run in the dark, I'm much better at using my morning hours for business related things. I hate running in the evening - see the whole bit about running in the dark - add in the fact that I'm exhausted by 6 or 7pm. So, it looks like I'm more of a mid-day runner. Which sucks equally as much as the morning or the evening because...hello...have you ever been in Georgia during mid-day? Can you say "100% humidity?" But, what doesn't kill me will make me stronger....or at the very least running in Saharan-like temps will make me skinnier.

So, from this day forward I'm going to make running mid-day a part of my routine...just like taking a shower, flossing my teeth, feeding the baby at regular intervals, and eating dinner. Even if it's hot. Even if it's raining (hello, I have a treadmill in the basement). Even if it sucks.

And the next time someone asks me how I can be so motivated to run everyday - well, I'll tell them it's not the motivation you are looking for...it's the discipline to do the things you enjoy that you're after.

5 comments:

wesa121 said...

Good post Amy!

Firefly's Running said...

Awesome!!

Sam Martinez said...

Wow enlightenment is a beautiful thing. It is about discipline over motivation. At least once the new wears off.

I have always been a mid-day runner and I can tell you it rocks!! I love running when I'm awake, not too tired and can eat a nice lunch afterward. Plus it keeps me out of those fat filled business lunches I loathe.

Run Strong Grasshopper.

RC
TEAM POD

Modish said...

Love your post Amy! I'm motivated to fit into my size 4 wardrobe, and it's discipline that will get me there. Seeing those clothes isn't enough, but the joy discipline will bring me is enough, and it's what will keep me going. The joy will last much longer than the transient pain that also comes with discipline.

paul said...

I totally agree with you. All you need is discipline to be successful with what you want. Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts.


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