The rigors of keeping a body

I tend to be one that wants some schedule, some regularity, to my workouts. I like having a “training schedule” for running, even if I’m not planning to race. I like knowing when my twice-weekly weight lifting sessions will be. Same with biking, yoga, and martial arts.

But what happens when I don’t feel like doing one or any of them? I’ve been kind of dragging myself to the gym for weight lifting out of necessity these past couple of weeks. My body needs the strength, my shins especially, but I find it hard to focus and do the reps correctly, and I feel the workout’s wasted if I just throw weights around. I know it’s not a complete waste, but still.

I had a pretty nasty asthma attack last night, and I woke up (for about the fifth time) this morning about an hour before the run I was supposed to do. It took me that whole hour to psych myself into going out and running, knowing that I’d lost my inhaler, and knowing that I was at high risk for an attack, especially since I was still wheezing while lying in bed the next morning.

Maybe it’s just the start of my usual winter doldrums. Getting myself out of bed before class to exert myself seems arduous, especially given how interrupted my sleep’s been. Just two months ago, I was so happy to have classes starting at 10:00 so that I would have time to knock out a full hour of exercise before tackling the day.

The big question is, perhaps, “What’s my motivation?” I’m telling myself to get out and be active because I want to get in shape (which I define as purely stamina, not body weight/shape), help my asthma, mebbe lose some weight, and because it makes me feel good (in that order? maybe.).

I feel in part like I have too many goals to remain focused. I see weight lifting as separate from running and both of those as separate from biking. So while I have a “schedule”, I don’t have a cohesive workout… vision. I don’t flow from one workout to the next, and I think each should be reinforcing the others.

So the question is, how do I fix it?


  • Kara W.

    I think I sort of understand your dilemma. It took a great deal of motivation for me to get back into running after quiting for over a year, and I can’t say that it’s ever easy to go and pump out 5 miles after a long school day.

    I can try and offer some suggestions for motivation, although I’ve personally never lifted weights or biked regularly (running and eliptical are more my forte). Music has always been a strong factor, as a basic accessory. I also keep track of how many miles I ride or the time I spend on the treadmill, so that I can strive to surpass it by a reasonable amount the next time I workout (of course I slip in some easy days to give my body a rest and avoid injury). A lot of the time, the euphoria I get after the first few miles is all I need to bring me back the next day. The other obvious results of increased stamina and weightloss are a plus, but I can’t honestly say that either of those really push me to do what I do on a long term basis.

    I think it just comes down to a set vision of what you want to eventually accomplish/how you want to look (dependant upon person). Striving for some goal that combines all the workouts you do would probably make your schedule more cohesive. An idea that came to my mind was perhaps you should aim to compete in a mini-marathon or tri-athlon; something that will make you proud you accomplished it even if you don’t win recognition. All those different workouts that you do would coordinate well in the training required for either of these events. Personally, in the near future I’m hoping to compete in a mini-marathon. I think the personal pride I’d have after finishing such a strenuous event is enough to keep me training long term. (Just my two cents regarding that idea.)

  • Lissa

    Kara: Thanks for the comment and advice. I like the idea of going performance based, and for moving into competition (like a mini-marathon or tri). Just having the alone time with music has also turned out to be a factor, although less so now that I don’t live on campus.