Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Re-Discovering My WHY

I haven't posted for over two weeks. Usually that means that I haven't done much activity worth posting. And once again, that is the excuse. However, in the past few days, I have done some soul searching. If anyone asks me why I exercise, I usually say "because I can."  And that was certainly true several years ago. There is a story that goes with it, but feeling generally well enough to exercise was what got me out the door. I didn't want to waste any chance I had, in case I might not feel well enough again.

But that doesn't seem to be what motivates me now.  Over the past few years, I'm finding that I'm more likely to exercise if (and only if) I have someone to join me and if I have a race or other event on my calendar. If I don't have a race and I don't have company on any given day, I'm highly likely to skip it all together.  That certainly doesn't sound like someone who does it because they *can*. It sounds like someone who does it only when they *want to*.

Well, I found myself revisiting my motivation this weekend while I was in OH visiting my mother. Her health is poor and as a result, she is weak and has trouble doing what most of us would consider regular daily activities. I realized something. I really don't want that to be me in 30 years if I can help it! One of the real reasons that I want to exercise regularly is to keep myself fit and healthy. I guess I had forgotten that.

Today I acquired a pedometer and committed to another 8 week 10,000 steps/day challenge at work which just happens to be starting this week. Even though I may walk by myself, I'll be checking in with other co-workers. So I'm really not alone in this. And the program that we use to track our measured steps at work allows entering cycling time (it converts it to steps) or swimming time or other vigorous activities besides just steps.  Last time I averaged 12,000 steps per day most weeks.  That was during the summer when the days were longer and it was easier to get activities in during daylight.

We'll see what happens this time.  It would probably be good if I could just hit 10K on average with the shorter days.But I'd really like to augment walking with enough running/cycling/swimming or whatever to maintain that higher level of activity that I had achieved during the summer.

It seems that I'm off to a good start.  I put the pedometer on about 6 hours ago and currently have 5787 steps for the day. I probably had at least 2000 steps before I put it on.  And the day isn't over yet, so I'm well on my way to hitting 10,000 for the day. Knowing that my steps are being counted motivated me to take the stairs instead of the elevator, and do a little extra walking during my lunch hour.  I also made sure to walk the dogs when I got home.

So what's you WHY and has it ever changed?


  1. The 10k steps program sounds like a good motivator. I've had an off year training-wise but I've got my eyes on NYCM 2014 and know I need to ramp up for that. My why is my family history of heart disease. I'm running away from that.

  2. It used to be why? why not! and then it was why? becuase I couldn't and now I can and now it's why? becuase I know how good it feels to be fit and I want it back!

  3. A serious operation and a desire to change my life. Never looked back. It's worked for me.

  4. Fit and healthy: sounds familiar.....

  5. You are right, I run for health too. Great post!