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Staying Motivated – by Jennifer Smith

If you graphed my interest in training over this past year it would probably appear as the inverse of the Covid case count curve. I’ll admit it. The pandemic is getting me down.

Last spring, as event cancellation notices piled up in my inbox, I began to wonder what I was training for.

Go ahead. Call me goal oriented. It’s true. Signing up for events is a major motivator for me. I love the vibe at a tri festival and the rush that you feel crossing the finish line. Without any of that to look forward to, my interest in training declined.

I also noticed a decline in my ability to focus, not just on a fitness schedule, but in every aspect of my life. For some reason, the pandemic has made me more distracted and less productive. Since last spring, I have not been consistently doing anything let alone following a brilliant training routine. I’ve been all over the map. But, these are unprecedented times – why beat myself up over unprecedented outcomes?

In this Covid-world of more-of-the-same day in and day out, I just can’t face more-of-the-same exercise. To keep it together (mentally and physically), I’ve shifted my focus to keeping fit any way I can.

When the pools closed, I found my old P90X tapes and started doing Kenpo in the bedroom. I figured throwing punches at the mirror was at least a little bit like swimming. Besides, it was a good way to get my pandemic frustrations out.

Where I used to rely on spin classes alone, this winter I bought a used bike trainer for home. Who knew a spin class conducted via Zoom would really work? But it does! I find it motivational to ride onscreen on Tuesday nights with TCoB.

When going for a run didn’t enthuse me, I turned running into “wrunning”, part orienteering and part artistic expression. I began designing running routes that would write out a word with the GPS track, spelling things like “Covid Run” and “2nd Wave” and, more recently, “Rudolph” for the reindeer run challenge.

But even all these modifications haven’t been enough to keep my interest piqued. I’ve needed to pursue other things further from the usual swim-bike-run routine. I’ve taken up online Zumba classes and dance fusion classes, I’m working out with YouTube (love your plank workout Larissa!), I’m getting the hang of a weighted hula-hoop, trying out some HIIT workouts, and I’ve dusted off my exercise bands. Instead of road running, I’ve searched out some trail running opportunities nearby and I’ve done a lot more walking in my neighbourhood than I’ve ever done before. It’s these new things that are keeping my spirits up. And, what I’m finding is, if I keep my spirits up, then I can handle some of the same old, same old and put some time into the swim-bike-run training too.

What’s keeping me going is trying new things and doing things that make me happy.

Do what makes you happy everybody. Best wishes for a healthy 2021.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Brian

    Wow! I’ve found it helps to be determined to get right back into wall-climbing just as soon as I can, which means, I need to keep the core muscles strong, I can’t gain weight {carrying an extra 10 lbs up a wall is hard work!} and somehow I have to keep my strength up. That’s the hardest because weights are just boring, boring, boring. I have a pull-up bar. That helps.

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