I admit that I have some “A” type personality traits. One of those traits is that I am goal driven. I returned to college after a 2 year break. Upon my return I had a new passion and determination for keeping myself physically fit. At times I have worked hard, and at other times… well, not so hard. With periods of ups and downs it has been a little bit of a rollercoaster ride. In fact, if you were to chart my activity following my 2 year break, it would have started exceptionally high and has leveled out over the past several years. So, the big idea here is the answer to “what keeps me going?” Ultimately it has been a combination of things.
First and foremost is the long term goal I set during my college years. I can still see the picture in my mind’s eye, a black and white photo of a 90 year old man dressed in only shorts, standing on a beach, and flexing for all the world to see! I don’t remember his exact words, but his statement had something to do with him still enjoying his active quality of life due to his continued focus on fitness. I want that. The second motivating factor has been short term goals. You may know of or remember the Women of Steel triathlon last year where I was hobbling around useless on crutches. It was all I could do to follow doctors orders of “taking it easy.” I had high hopes of participating in a 70.3 triathlon this spring. It did not materialize this spring due to slow recovery and losing sight of my goal, but it will still happen this year. It is the short range goals that give me the daily drive to get out the door even when I don’t feel like it. Third, I like to be fit enough to do anything I want to do at any time, and I can’t stand the way I look when I start to get soft in the middle. I lead an active lifestyle with active friends and family and I want to always be involved. I can’t do that unless I keep going.
At this point I imagine you are probably asking the question “so what?” I am sharing all this because it relates to what drives people like me and you each day to get off the couch, pull on the shoes, and head out the door. What is your long-term goal or mental image that keeps you doing your best to improve over the long haul? Do you have short range goals, something you are working on for the year? Finally, is there something that drives you to improve just because? For me it is a sense of urgency because youth doesn’t last forever.