Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Burpees are free.

Motivation, priorities, excuses. All of these things affect your workouts. We are either extremely lacking or highly motivated. We either make it a priority or we shove it to the end of the list. Excuses come in many, many forms.

Motivation, for me, comes in waves. Some people are motivated by failure. I am not. I am motivated by good things. A great lift, a good WOD time, a run that I didn’t hate. These are things that spur me on to have the same experience the next day. Of course every day can’t be a good day. I try to tell myself, “good days, bad days.” But I have to admit that my motivation begins to lack when I feel like I’m not doing well, or performing to my potential. That’s when the "inner quitter” in me says “who cares?” Who cares if I lose? Who cares if I am strong? Who cares how fast I run a mile? Who cares what my Fran time is? And then I shake myself and say, rather loudly, “I DO!” And that tends to get me back on track. Steers me back to being the motivated athlete I want to be. So, like I said, it comes in waves.

I also believe that setting goals helps me greatly. I sit down and make a list of what I want to accomplish and in what time frame. I don’t just think about it. I write it down. Everyone needs goals. Or else we’re purposelessly wandering through weeks of wods and lifts, never getting to where we want to be. We need purpose. With purpose, we’re motivated to meet our goals. And then we need to prioritize our lives to make meeting these goals possible.

Prioritizing our lives can be quite complicated, especially when it comes to working out. It’s often the first thing that people will push to the bottom of the list when they are busy. But not for me. I can honestly say that when it comes to working out, it’s very near the top of my priority list. I don’t schedule anything that gets in the way with my workouts. Some would say this makes me selfish. And I will agree that it is my choice to make it more important than other things in my life, but does that make me selfish? I don’t think so. Isn’t that what we all do? We all make time for the important things. It’s about finding a balance between the things we have to do and the things we want to do. On my “want to do” list, working out takes the top priority. And I’ve been blessed to make that work. My schedule is easier to manipulate than it is for some, I fully admit that. I also make choices with my time. But it may not always be such. I may not always have this amount of freedom. And then I will re-prioritize my time to make it work. Because it is that important to me. And if you want to be fit, really fit, then you have to make it a priority, you can’t make excuses.

Excuses, excuses, excuses. Rarely are they valid. But I will say that I thoroughly believe that all of us can make excuses for any and everything that we do or don’t do, and the way anything turns out. “I can’t workout because I am sick.” Not usually true. I’ve worked out sick many, many times. I use the rule of thumb, “would I call in sick if someone was paying me?” You may not be as good, but you will survive. Sometimes I think it even helps. “I can’t workout because I was up late and I’m hungover.” Sadly, I can attest to the fact that surviving a CrossFit wod hungover doesn’t rate high on my list of good times, but you will live. I promise you. “I’m too busy.” Can you rearrange your schedule to accommodate a workout? How many of hours of TV did you watch this week? Or talked on the phone? Find the time. Most of us can. Treat it like a very small part time job. Don’t negotiate when it comes to your workouts. “I’m too sore.” Never true. You’ll be fine. Unless you’re dealing with an injury, get your butt back in the gym. “I don’t have the money.” Add up your Target receipts. Then add your Starbucks receipts. Then add your fast food receipts. This one usually comes back to our talk about priorities.
Of course sometimes you are actually too sick, or too busy, or too broke. There are circumstances when all of the above reasons are beyond your control and you just simply can’t make it work. I totally get that. I am speaking for the majority of us. Not all of us. But just be honest with yourself. You’ll know if your reason for skipping a workout is valid. Just get back to it when you can.

Remember, 50 burpees for time is a great WOD. It’s short, maybe not-so-sweet, but it won’t cramp your busy schedule. And trying to get it done in less than 3 minutes is a great goal to be motivated to accomplish. You can do it at home or anywhere for that matter. And burpees are free.

Be motivated. Make working out a priority. Stop making excuses.


  1. Thanks for the push Lori. I will try to do better. You didn't mention, "I'm too tired". Can I use that one???

  2. Great article Lori!
    I have found that making a goal list helps you focus on what you want to accomplish. Also keeping a journal so you can keep track of how close you are getting to that goal and once you surpass it you can make a new one.
    As far as motivation...some days I have it some days I don't. But I always just put on my workout clothes and go and usually once I get started I get into it. Or at the very least once I am done I am glad that I did it.