It would be nice if the motivation to work out and improve performance could be stumbled upon like some glowing blue object in a video game. “Oh look!” you could marvel. “A big chunk of motivation! I’ll put that in my digital fanny pack and go do 30 miles on the bike in a freezing rain.”
Typically, it doesn’t work that way. Yet motivation can come from strange places. Even the purchase of a new pair of running shoes or a cool new kit top can turn out to be a motivating force if you let it.
I recall the year I was given a new set of Tinley running tights for Christmas. Those damned things were so comfortable and well-designed I wound up running more just to enjoy them. That spring I dropped my previously lagging 10K time out of sheer circumstantial momentum.
Out of the wreckage
Recently I decided to fix up the Felt 4C bike that I’d crunched by driving into the garage with the bike still mounted on the roof rack. It wasn’t much more than a 5-mile-an-hour collision, but the front fork was definitely toasted. Since then, I’ve had several bike aficionados study the frame and they found no cracks in it. So I bought the Felt a new front fork and with a couple other tweaks including a new seat stem and stainproof black bar tape the Felt 4C is back in action.
I’d forgotten how smooth and that light that bike is to ride. I love my Specialized Venge Expert for its stolid right and smooth shifting. By contrast, the Felt 4C is a different ride, but it’s a nice one. So that was the bike that provided a chunk of needed motivation yesterday. I took the Felt out to ride 16 miles in a raw wind and 40-degree temps. Yet it turned out to be fun.
Call me nuts
Some people call that kind of thing nuts. But it’s true that people who don’t run or ride or swim think a lot of the things we do are crazy. Thus my motivation is seldom either gained or lost from those who don’t know what it’s like, on a cold and blustery day, to finally turn around and ride with the wind after you’ve worked five full miles into the cold gale. Then the ride goes silent but for the whirr of the wheels on smooth asphalt. The speed picks up and the rewards are real.
In fact, that moment in time is very much like scooping up a little green digital power pack in a video game. So I’ll take back what I said at the start of this blog. Motivation is nothing more than the energy and will to enjoy what you’re doing, and you can find that almost any time if you’re looking for it.