Things That Do Motivate Me

Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post. I really do appreciate your comments, even when you disagree.

I feel I should mention (upon reflection) that I don’t mind those inspirational quotes once in awhile. But when it’s a constant stream of them, or posted on your blog in lieu of actual content, I get annoyed.

Vera finishing Comrades. I stole this from her Facebook page

Also, I feel that I should follow-up yesterday’s negative post with a positive one.

So what does inspire me?

BFF Ultra Vera. Obviously, training for and finishing a 56-mile race takes insane dedication, not just to training, but your whole lifestyle. And she did it while working full-time. Many times when I’m out running, I think of the distance I’m covering in relation to 56 miles and I realize Vera is just plain crazy (crazy awesome). But, even more than that, she has been working through an injury for the past few months. She has dedicated herself to recovery as much as she dedicates herself to training for any race. And she has stayed positive knowing that she WILL run pain free again someday. To her, it’s not a matter of IF, it’s a matter of HOW and WHEN. She LOVES running. And I know she misses it dearly. These months have been hard for her, and she continues to stay positive.

Me and GenBFF Genevieve. She trained for a half mararthon while working both a full-time and a part-time job and raising two little kids. Despite people telling her she couldn’t do it. And not being able to run all that much in the weeks leading up to the race. She showed up and finished those 13.1 miles, smiling at the end. And even better, she wants to do it again!


Amanda & Kelly

Amanda. She battled a lot of injuries when training for her spring mararthon earlier this year. But she kept going, and finished the race. And is now training for her third full.

Kelly. Her first mararthon didn’t go as planned, and she pulled herself out. Still wanting a marathon finish, she tried again a week later, and finished. And she still isn’t scared of 26.2 and talks about doing another marathon.

My husband. He survived boot camp. And not as a young, energetic 18-year-old. But as a 29-year-old with creaky knees and a big build. (He’s big for a sailor.) Living in barracks, sleeping on a bunk bed, forced hair cuts, being yelled at, experiencing the gas chamber, not to mention the physical training, and all that other stuff that I don’t even want to know about, he not only got through it, but was named the honor grad for his division (of 90 sailors). What’s sick is that he enjoyed it.

My cousin Coach Judie. She works full time in a demanding field (structural engineering), trains triathletes, and WON a triathlon recently and qualified for USAT Age Group National Championship. But does she sleep?

Anyone who finds time to train. I spent years using any excuse to not run, work out or be healthy. (I’m tired, I’m busy, there is good TV on, it’s late, I don’t want to wake up early.) I know how easy it is to come home after a long day at work (and commuting) and just want to sit. So anyone who works full-time and/or has children, but still finds the time and motivation to get out there, motivates me. I’m super duper impressed by the people who work AND raise kids and find the time. Seriously. How? Do you get some secret stores of energy when you become a parent?

Surviving my first half marathon. I was undertrained, had no support system, no runner friends, no fueling strategy and no Body Glide. I had to talk myself into just getting to the start line. The last five miles sucked but I got through them and finished. Now I feel like if I just follow a proper training plan, I can cover any distance. I think everyone needs one really, truly difficult race to survive, so they know that they can get through anything. I’m not recommending purposely undertraining or underfueling yourself or anything, but sometimes you need to get through a difficult situation to prove to yourself that you can handle just about anything. The saner safer route is to pick something that truly scares you, or sounds impossible, and get through it.

What or who inspires you, and why? 

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17 Comments on “Things That Do Motivate Me”

  1. I loved your previous post on those “inspirational” photos and quotes. I find them so annoying! They are just so one-directional and seem to elicit emotions that are more negative. So if I don’t run today I’m a failure? That’s definitely crossed my mind before while reading one of those quotes. Anyway, I agree with you – real people and real accomplishments are 100000 times more motivational and inspirational to me. I think this is the main reason I enjoy reading blogs so much – the stories are raw and real.

    1. Exactly. I know if I at least do the minimum training, I can have a decent race. But I know if I do great training (include strength training, stretching, foam rolling, eating healthy more often than not, etc), I can have a great race. But if I do neither? It will suck.

  2. I think you are inspiring. I need to get better so I can back into training. My half is coming up and I haven’t been running. I am planning on walking it.

    My son V is inspiring, even though he is only 5, he swam 2 laps of the pool all by himself last week, is up to 17.5 miles in his kids’ marathon, and watches the Olympics. He prefers healthy food over processed food, I am quite proud of him.

  3. I have often wanted to make up a shirt that goes

    “If you need a motivational quote to get going then I already have you beat.”

  4. So, I’ve been guilty of posting a few motivational JPEGs on my blog. Not daily. Not even weekly. But still – they are there. After reading this post and your last one I have to say that I love your take on how and why the blog world has been flooded with these images. And even though I am an offender, I absolutely agree with you. REAL inspiration comes from taking action and from surrounding yourself with people with similiar goals and ambitions – not from a Nike poster. That being said, I’m still not going to delete my “motivational” Pinterest board. There’s at least six hours worth of pins on there – you understand. 😉

  5. Awww, Maggie! I’m touched! And my husband will tell you that I DON’T sleep. 😉 Seriously, I am not a role model for proper sleep habits, I do just enough to get by and that’s not appropriate.

    Who inspires me? The entire 70+ age group at USAT Age Group Nationals–these folks kicked major butt in an Olympic distance triathlon! I saw a guy with 78 written on his calf (it’s his age, not his bike split), I wanted to hug him. Some people retire to the LaZBoy and Wheel of Fortune, but not these folks. Some of them put down pretty good times too! It was an honor to be with them.

    1. That’s awesome! On Saturday, I got to my CARA group early to get in a couple extra miles because I knew the pace group I’d be running with was doing 16 and I needed 18. Anyway, there was another runner out there who joined me, and we chatted, and he mentioned he’s trying to qualify for Boston, and what pace he was aiming for. When I got home I looked up BQ times and my guess is that he’s in his 60s. And training for his 10th Chicago Marathon (in a row) meaning he probably didn’t start running marathons until his 50s. Amazing!

  6. My dad (your uncle! Hee…) has a friend Iron Mike who is probably about 88 by now. The last time I saw him was on the 450 mile bike ride in Wisconsin that Dad and I used to do together when he was 84 and was less than 12 months post-op with two new knees. He wasn’t running then, but had done the Ironman World Championship in Kona about six times. He did his first Ironman when he was 65. SIXTY-FIVE. So to do Kona six times…. he was at least over 70 for the last one!

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