The sun was beating down, it seemed like there had only been two or three days of nice spring like temperatures. Now summer was here in it’s full fury. Beads of sweat gathered on my hat bill, hanging for a second or two before giving up. That’s about how I felt, like giving up. I’ve hung on as long as I could, just turn around and go home. Something made me keep moving up the hill, but asking myself why the hell I was doing it.
Recently, I was asked about my motivation. I thought of the high cholesterol and blood pressure that I had been trying to correct when I started. Those problems are a distant memory, so what kept me going? It wasn’t the weight, somewhere along the way running to lose weight had given way to keeping weight down so I could run better, in a weird twist the two had switched places on my priorities list.
I reached the top of the climb and looked ahead. A nice down hill and then another climb. Why am I doing this? If I go down that hill, it will only become an uphill climb on my way back. For some reason I kept moving forward, down the hill and up the next. Why am I doing this?
Somewhere in all of us there is a tiny spark of motivation. What each of use chooses to do with that spark, defines us. When we feed this motivation continually, that is what people remember. This is where we grow physically and mentally. Those that keep moving have learned to nurture that spark and grow it. It’s like kindling in a fire, if you don’t feed it, the flame will go out. If you watch it, nurturing it, then the fire will grow, sometimes beyond control.
Our motivation must be ever evolving. Always moving towards the next hill. I think this is why many people fail to keep the weight off. Their goal is to lose a certain amount of weight and once they reach that point, the motivation is gone. There is no longer a reason to maintain a healthy lifestyle. With their motivation gone, the kindling burns out, there is no more fuel in the fire. When we find one little bit of motivation, one piece of kindling, we start. If we don’t add to that kindling, we stand a high chance of failure. Why? Because the fire no longer has fuel to maintain or grow.
When the flame on the log is getting low, we stir the fire and add another log. When the flame of your goal is low do you stir it and add another? Did you run a half-marathon? Good, then set a goal to do it faster or do a full marathon.
Many of us began our journey due to health problems, for others it was to support a friend or family member. Eventually, that motivation is going to vanish. Things change, goals change and when they do, that’s where many people have trouble. They stop nurturing that fire within. Just keep looking to the next peak, the top of the next hill and keep moving towards it.
Something pushes me to keep moving until I get to my turn around point. I stop and look at where I came from all the hills and challenges and start heading back. Those nice downhills are now climbs, those climbs that I cursed in the beginning are now my friends. I realize that nothing in life has actually changed except my perspective. I look at those hills and challenges differently now, once they were an excuse, now they are merely a small obstacle.