I didn't want to go. I was tired. The kids were cranky. I had so many things to get done. My knee had been bothering me again and I was frustrated with my rehab progress. I knew I had a long workout planned for the day and honestly, I just didn't want to do it!
But I also knew I'd feel guilty about not getting it in all day if I didn't at least try. So I broke it up into segments. I completed my strength training before the girls got up. Then I did my physical therapy exercises for my knee while the girls ate their breakfast. I threw my stuff for the pool into my bag as I headed out the door. But to be honest, I didn't think I'd make it there. The excuses were already lining up in my head "The attendent didn't show up to open the pool. I had other things to do. I ran late with a client and couldn't make it to the pool." But the day went as scheduled! I pulled into the pool parking lot and still didn't want to be there. But heck, I was there, I might as well get it in. So I made it into a game. I threw out the workout I had planned. I came up with a game. Swim a mile...any way I could....any stroke I wanted,...breaking it up into as many consecutive laps as I chose. No set plan. I had so much fun! It was a great swim! I wasn't worried about times or drills, I just swam a mile. At the end (40minutes later), I was smiling and happy that I had gotten it in! I finished off the day with some yoga and foam roller while the girls napped to round out the workout.
While it wasn't a stellar day, I was proud of having broken through all the excuses and getting in my workout. I didn't feel guilty at the end of the day that I hadn't gotten it in. Because even if I had skipped it, I still would have been tired, the kids still would have been cranky and I would still have to many things to accomplish in one day on my to-do list! Those things wouldn't have changed even if I had missed my workout. But this way, even chopped up the way it was, I got in my whole workout.
The lesson learned, break it up, change it up. We have such hard, fast rules about what we have to do for our workouts. But that doesn't always work with our schedules or our moods. Sometimes you have to change things up. I've done this in the past when training for marathons. Broken my milage up into more manageable segments. The thought of going out for a 2+ hour run could be enough to send you back to the couch! So I'd tell myself, I was just going to run for half an hour or to a certain landmark. Most of the time, I was enjoying myself so much (the day, the scenery, feeling great!), that I kept running for the whole workout and was thrilled with that I had done it afterward.
When I find that my motivation for my workouts is waning, I change it up. I may add in a challenging exercise, sports drill, try a new class, or make it a game. Completing a workout, especially when I've struggled with "wanting" to do it, is motivating. You strengthen your resolve, your self-motivation, your ability to find inner-strength for your next workout. You also have past experiences to draw upon when you don't want to complete that next workout. The little voice that tells you that you'll feel good once you get it done, because you did the last time.
I know I'll draw upon that little voice the next time my motivation to workout starts to drop. I'll change things up. Compete against myself. Challenge myself to go just a little while. I'll try something new. Before I know it that workout will be in the history books and I'll be smiling through my day, knowing I achieved something.