My Struggle With Motivation

The Unsporty Child

Having lost weight and become relatively fit, like most people the motivation to keep going and making fitness a way of life is a constant struggle for me. My personal theory is because I grew up a very ‘unsporty’ child, I wasn’t encouraged and was quite fearful.

I often tell the story of when I was at junior school we had houses, and you got into your houses for sports. Quite often our house ‘Fisher’ was over numbered. The team knew I was slow so did everything to get a good start by either putting me at the beginning or the end. Sadly for them, I often made them lose, and a particular competitive boy would scream and be very angry. In the end I always offered to stand out, as that boy was usually begging the teacher for me to. At least then it would give them a chance to win.  As a result I learned avoidance techniques to avoid PE at school, apart from dance which I loved.

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I suppose in my late teens early twenties, I was lucky with my weight. Picture me shopping in Pineapple near Covent Garden wearing full work-out gear to work on the building site, pants over leggings the lot. However, there was absolutely no working out going on, it was just for the sporty look! Perhaps deep down I knew there was a fitness diva inside. They were a lenient (perhaps lecherous) lot on that building site back in the day!

Fitness Club and Classes

I’m currently a member to a health and fitness club where its always so hard to get a slot on my favourite classes. You have to set the alarm for 6am and book a slot on-line the day after the class. (Why this irritates me so much is for another blog!) Quite often I’m on the reserve list anticipating whether or not I’ll get actually get a place on my favourite fitness pilates class on a Monday morning…

I really don’t enjoy going to the gym, so last year I starting doing Bootcamp on the village green. This was organized by my lovely new neighbour Rebecca, and run by her cousin, a fab guy named Luke. It was a great class but a difficult time for me at 7pm in the evening.

I often I had to arrange childcare due to James’s working schedule and on a Wednesday and often I’d go dancing straight afterwards. My friend visited from Singapore and was really impressed with Luke’s knowledge on an existing injury she’s had. He always made the classes fun and varied and the hour flew by apart from ‘Bear Crawls’ which are a challenge in co-ordination for me! The time of day just wasn’t working for me so regretfully I had to decide not to continue.

Personal Training sessions

Several months later I decided that I really needed some motivation to get back into the swing of things.  Although I knew all the exercises and what I should be doing, I just lacked the self-discipline to just get on and do them. So I contacted Luke about some Personal Training sessions. This was an interesting shift for me, because before leaving Singapore I decided I wouldn’t have a male personal trainer again.  This was because culturally I found some young men made me feel uncomfortable talking openly about my personal women’s issues and effects on my fitness levels being over 40, having had two c-sections and probably getting on for being peri-menopausal.

However, Luke was different, very insightful and being a partner, father and step-father, he just got it.  We started training and he absolutely listened and began giving me the encouragement I needed.  I now meet with him a couple of times a week and he always surprises me with his up-to-date knowledge of various imbalances I may be incurring. His enthusiasm and positive attitude really makes it one of my highlights throughout the week.

I hate running, mainly because I don’t think I can. Actually when I get out of breath I think I am going to collapse. Apparently this is normal. He knows when to push me because I think I’m a person who has always done the bare minimum. Every session is different and outside, rain or shine. I am often surprised what simple but very effective action/activity we end up doing. I talk at Luke throughout the session and if he’s lucky he might be a word in edgeways! He always knows when he’s pushing me to my limits because I stop talking!

I realise that I love to have a fitness buddy by my side, as I did in Singapore with my dear friend Alex. We would rant our away around the Botanical Gardens putting the world to rights. I miss her terribly and am very nostalgic about those times…

So Luke has filled a void, and is a wonderful motivation and role model of how fitness and nature can go together and can become a way of life. I’m not brave or interested enough to go out into survival mode deep in the woods, as he often does. Thank you Luke for helping me continue my fitness journey on getting stronger, fitter and keeping me motivated!

My 5 Tips for Motivation

  1. Get over your fears – don’t let your past stop you from what’s possible for you today
  2. Believe in yourself – or start to if don’t already
  3. Find your motivation – mine is company
  4. Never give up – even doing little is better than doing nothing
  5. Enjoy!