Motivation, Asskick, Sleep – It’s a careful balance

My ankles a bit sore, legs are a bit stiff and its bloody fantastic.  I’ve just popped a 22.5km run this morning off the back of feeling absolutely MEH and…..bouncing back from burning out and sleeping for 90% of Sunday.  Let’s put things into order.


Start with Motivation:

Motivation is such a fickle thing.  Just listening to the right song can inspire a sudden surge of “HELL YEAH!!” – and other times, we just feel like rolling over and sleeping for ever.  Relying on motivation, as an athlete, is folly.  Motivation, like any mindset, is something that can be trained as a habit.  With practice and forced implementation – you can feel motivated about whatever you do most of the time.  There will always be days though, where the mojo just does doesn’t work on its own – and thou must then take the workout into thine own hands.

Turn the Frown Upside Down – From NOT wanting to start – To hell happy at finish

I’ll come back to why I wasnt particularly feeling it this morning – but FLAT is an APT description of the state of mind and body.  A couple of clients early this morning, and I had packed the runners, earphones and hydration pack, telling myself I would run home.  Options were – 12.5km home straight, or around the Coast for a 22.5km run.  See now the thing is – the more you think about particular options and why they aren’t good for the state of mind, the more you will that into being.  Knowing yourself here is a huge advantage – I’m a huge sucker for talking myself into lesser workout options, still workouts for sure, but justifiably easier.  So today – morning work complete, it was a matter of:

  • Grab the backpack
  • Put the Earphones in
  • Start running
  • Figure the rest out later


So Starteth The Asskick

First km rolled past – and i’m already thinking about the arrival home…No Pete, just turn the legs, breathe man, feel the wind, see the world.  2nd km rolls past and the body is sinking into a nice repetition of mechanical movement now.  Its starting to feel good.  Kilometers three and four roll past, the podcast i’m listening to is really interesting (IGN’s “Gamescoop” – nerd satisfaction ++) – now i’m feeling good.  And just like that, 10-15mins and the whole day has turned around.  It’s overcast, a nothing day really, and i’m loving it.  There’s people out and about, that dog over there is having just the BEST time chasing another friendly pooch, that small child is COVERED in sand – i’m part of the world and cleansing the mind.

Moffat Beach – Always an amazing view, whatever the weather

The point i’m making here, is that the motivation to continue the workout was being created DURING the intial starting phase.  The HARDEST part of any workout – is starting.  Once you’re in and moving, it’s so much easier to just keep on keeping on, and more than that, as the 10km mark cruised by, I was now proud of myself for commiting and executing.  This is storing up motivation for the next workout, It’s turning a motivational deficit into a surplus.  Short version of this story summed up, I got home after 22.5km, yep – took the long way on the coast – and felt amazing for having achieved this.  Im ready to kick more ass tomorrow knowing that the hard yards today have already been ticked off.

Sleep and Burnout:

So this motivational conundrum was a result of me burning the candle at both ends in a big way and running myself into the dirt.  I’m a massive advocate of two things:

1 – Stretching and Flexibility is the most under-rated aspect of 99% of people’s workout regimes

2 – Sleep is the best natural motivator for anyone doing anything

I also SUCK at that second point.  The nature of working for one’s self, means that you need to be constantly innovating and evolving to suit market needs and to attract new clients.  The day is comprised of servicing client programs, executing those tranining sessions, training myself, planning and communicating with external parties and THEN, at the end of it all, late at night, do I have time to develop new ideas, to update and run my website and to be proactive with new services.  I steady 6hrs of sleep is usually my norm – and i’m going to be absolutely honest, it’s enough to function the next day adequately, but it saps away from the overall storage by about 5%.  With a usual dose of 2 hrs of exercise EVERY day in some form – this 5% adds up in a continuous cycle.  Each day, you come back 5% less – 95%, then 5% of that = 90.25%.  Over and over.  The rate of decay is slow enough that you don’t realise how tired you actually get until – like what happened to me on Sunday – The body just decided that enough was enough.

Burnout Sucks – Big Time

I got up with every intention of running that morning and just felt terrible – 5am is not an early start, but after going back to bed – I solidly woke again at 3pm.  Spent a couple of hours with my partner getting out and about, 7pm a massive headache had kicked in and was back and asleep again by 8pm.

This is far from an ideal scenario – and it happens to so many people.  We accept the tired state as a normal state of affairs – It absolutely does NOT need to be this way.  It becomes a matter of, What will be sacrificed in order for you to get enough sleep?  Not just “enough”, but enough to start adding BACK INTO the storage pool.  Seriously, a solid sleep, with good food and hydration, turns you into a new person.  Imagine what you could achieve, waking up like that every day!!!

A Summation of Musings Had:

This post has more been an effective method for me to break down how i’ve been feeling the last few days.  The ability for one (all of us) to turn innate run-down mindset into a super positive proactive charge is amazing.  Usually, the limiting factor on how hard this is (aside from serious impacts in life), usually sleep.  I sit here now, bottle of water to the right, coffee on the left – and i feel SO GOOD.

Finishing things off

Exercise has been done, goals have been ticked off with the training regime, and it’s all come flipside from sitting in this exact chair less than 12 hours ago and feeling like ass.  Take heart my friends, when you feel the lack of motivation, sometimes its going to be on you just to START and to generate some juju just by turning up and doing “something”.  That next workout might have nothing to do with the fitness, and everything with turning your week the right way up.

Do it for you – for fitness, for mentality, for an asskicker week.

Yours in random musings.




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