For me, being motivated plays a big part in doing exercise and it’s possibly why I struggle. I wouldn’t say I’m lazy, I’m certainly not overweight and I rarely eat junk food or drink alcohol, but I’m by no means fit. I get out of breath quite easily and my resting heart rate has been up to 114 bpm these last few weeks!
A few years ago, I tried the gym, which when I first started I loved. My friend Kayleigh and I went regularly for a couple of months, working out together, joining classes and swimming. After a while the novelty wore off, I ended up going alone most times and eventually stopped. I then got into Pole Dancing and Aerial Hoop which made me feel strong and energised but also self-conscious at the same time and I struggled going alone, so stopped. Again. (I seem to be a bit of a quitter!)
In April this year, some friends introduced me to British Military Fitness. At first I thought they were joking but went along to one of their charity boot camp type sessions in Pittville Park, Cheltenham. It was the middle of April; cold, wet and incredibly muddy. All I could think about was getting my hands dirty and the instructors shouting abuse like they do on the T.V. and in the army. OK, so I did get horrendously dirty but the instructors were so upbeat and really motivated you to keep you going, even if you were last!
I came home feeling sore and achy, but overwhelmed and excited for the next go. I went again to a normal session and signed up straight away for 6 months. During that time, I tried to go a few times a week. It was hard in the summer, but I persisted, sometimes going straight after work so I didn’t come home and think of all the other things I could be doing. I felt great! My mood improved, I slept better – I even started running and managed to walk a strenuous 22.5km up Great Calva for Wateraid – something I wouldn’t have agreed to, let alone completed a few months back.
Then the colder weather set in, the nights drew closer and my motivation fizzled. I haven’t been to BMF for around 6 weeks so I cancelled my subscription yesterday, disappointment with myself for giving up. I didn’t see the point in paying for something I wasn’t going to and making myself feel useless for not going every time I saw the direct debit disappear from my bank account. So, I asked two of my friends what motivates them to exercise so I can try and re-start my regime:
“The feeling I get after I do it. It makes me feel great. Knowing that it’s good for you and healthy. You get a hunger for good food. And knowing that it keeps me trim and fit and muscly.” – Hannah
“The feeling of accomplishment and being able to tell I’m getting stronger. Also, the social aspect. It’s no fun working out on your own!” – Caz
I have given myself a mini exercise plan and I’m going to work hard to stay motivated, not because it’s nearly 2017 everyone is throwing New Years’ Resolutions around, but because of a few words my partner said when I started BMF that stuck in my head – “You’ll be around for longer.”
What motivates you to stay fit and healthy? I’d love to hear from you.