The responses to this question seemed to involve being there for others. This is a great motivator particularly when those others are your immediate family. I come up with, find, and commit to working out for my family, eye-candy for my wife, general eye-candy, and ego as being excellent motivators. I am also competitive and want to be able to go at lest as far, as fast, and as hard core as people half my age. But, getting to this point took re-framing my initial view of working out.
Motivation is great for the initial jump. It is the kick in the guts that really gets us moving on a run schedule. But, motivation, like fires, will burn out. What happens next? What do you do? You dig deeper and find dedication.
Dedication is everywhere in our lives. We are dedicated to a project at work. We are dedicated to our children. We are dedicated to our friends and family and they are dedicated to us. In fitness, as in any other aspect of your life, you must take care of yourself. You must first love yourself. Then, you can take care of yourself.
Dedication requires courage. The bottom line here is courage. Motivation and dedication vital to the formula, but without courage it will all fall apart.
The kind of courage that I am talking about is from love, not just being afraid to do something and doing it anyway. The kind of courage that this takes is what the Greeks wrote about. What they held dear in their heroes and legends. The kind of stuff that writers of legend and lore like Homer from the age of lyric wrote about. The great endurance embodied in his heroes. A driving will to resist obstacles that were thrown into his path at every turn can inspire us today. Some days we feel like we need that. This will to continue, this kind of endurance, is not just for the outward enemies that Homer wrote about or that veterans of all wars have.
This will, this inner strength, this courage, is aimed at inward passions and misfortune in general as well as the outside elements. These intangible enemies can be just as deadly and destructive as any met on beachheads and mountainsides. The courage, the heart to keep going forward at home, with family and, especially, inside oneself is the hardest courage to find on most days. But, it is the type that you already have and live every day whether you know it or not.
Above, we mentioned your family and friends. You do almost everything for them and they for you. No questions asked. Well, there are the occasional, “Are you out of your mind?!” questions and looks. Still, by and large, there is a core group that falls into the You-Call-I-Haul category.
Now, show yourself this kind of courage and dedication. Seriously. Many of us have a difficult time doing this. If someone you trust and love is willing to do that for you, aren't you worth doing it for yourself?
This is ironness of heart, from the Oddyssey and the Illiad. This ironness is love. That is what drives us to greater achievements than any mindset alone ever could. It was no mindset by which Shakespeare wrote any sonnet. It was by no mindset that a squad member or platoon member ever ran back into a hail of gunfire and explosions to grab a wounded buddy. No, these were done from the heart, out of love. Courage, from love, is what gives the true warrior his heart. Love is what makes a mother such a formidable force.
Bottom line? Love yourself enough to invest the blood, sweat, and tears into you that you would invest in your family or battle buddies without a second thought.
Love your self enough to go that extra mile. To get to the gym even though you really don't feel like it. You show strength in the face of great pain or grief for your children. Now do it for you.
It's 95+ degrees outside. I am going to the track to do my push ups, pull ups, sit ups, squats, and other aerobic training. I am going to do this because I want to be there for the people who need me. That list starts with Me and my Family.
What is your courage?