Everyone has a fitness journey, a story of what motivated them to get fit or look at changing their bodies or behaviours. The goal posts change throughout our lives aswell and its important to know yourself and understand where you have come from and where you are going. The more you understand about yourself the more power you have. You can use that power to drive yourself forward/motivate you or just to say “I did it!”
This is my story…
Initial motivation for the gym came from school where I loved athletics and sports. I took GCSE PE and loved studying and playing badminton, football, swimming, netball, volleyball etc. I fancied a guy who was older than me and I wanted to look fit and be able to be stronger and better at sports, so I joined the gym where he worked also (and yes he did ask me out and became my first proper boyfriend at 16years old.)
GOAL – Gym = Boyfriend
So I was 16 years old, into running and scared to pick a weight up, so I focused mainly on cardio and abdominal work. This was fine and a cardio box fit class with my mum was a good laugh if not a little embarrassing when she got carried away. I was enjoying It all and had reached my goal and was just keeping my fitness ticking over.
My boyfriend split up with me after 8 months and I was gutted, I was also studying at the time so found exercise a great mental release from life. I often took my study books down with me and soon got chatting to staff and members about my exams who wished me luck and congratulated me when I passed. It became a nice sociable place to be and I enjoyed the release of endorphins I felt after my workout. I now had a new goal.
GOAL – Get fitter make ex boyfriend jealous
Obstacles I faced were time when I was studying full time and working, I had no time in the day apart from before my bus to college. So i changed my alarm from 7am to 5.30am and went to the gym before. This worked great for me I was able to get my workout in and felt buzzed and ready for the day.
I soon started to run and loved how free I felt, I didn’t need to go to the gym, and how I could be out in the clear air and sunshine.
I soon got faster, stronger and could go further, I got running trainers and looked to complete a running event. My goal now changed again.
GOAL – compete in running event
My first event was the 5km race for life in Bath where I did really well and felt I could have gone further. I then completed a 10km local town running event and pushed hard to get under 60minutes, which I did as I took 52minutes. This encouraged me more and I went on to complete a 10mile summer run in my home town called the Kennet Kanter. The feeling when I crossed the line was amazing and a feeling I wanted to repeat. It was euphoric, boosted my confidence and self esteem and made me realise I could push myself and feel the results.
I then stupidly thought that a half marathon 3 months later with no extra training was a good idea! 8 miles in and still climbing a hill i looked at my dad and said “when will this be over? I’m not sure I can do it!” Dad encouraged me to keep going and kept my spirits high with his jokes and chatting to me, I had inspired my dad to take up running to get him fit after his divorce to my mum and now he was fitter than me! The 10mile mark was where i hit my wall, I told dad to run on but was determined to not stop. New Goal = Don’t die!
I then cannot really remember a lot apart from the voice in my head telling me ‘NOT TO WALK, KEEP RUNNING!’ That was easier said than done and as I carried on jogging (I would have probably been faster walking,) I saw the finish line and found the extra energy to jog a little faster.
The end was amazing, I had ran further than I ever had before, alongside my dad! I now deserved a lot of food, plasters for my blisters and a drink! Pub!
The next morning I had a new goal I had never considered I would ever have. Goal = to walk
I learnt from this experience and trained for my half marathons, I ran 13 miles before a half marathon event more than once and did interval training to increase my stamina and my running pace. I became a running machine and now my half marathon PB has gone from 1hour 58mins (first half marathon) to 1hour 34mins.
GOAL – to get faster!
My husband has noticed my muscle tone and my friends have always said what lovely legs i have and how toned they are, I put this down to running.
This has kept me inspired and my husband is always complimenting me on my body and how hard I work. I have seen the difference too, and have taken all records of my runs so I can see my improvements. I have my Garmin, fit bit and my iPod on most runs these days as I know what motivates me. I love running to dance music, it makes me feel energetic, and I like to know how fast I’m running so I can work on my speed and distance.
I give advice to my clients and gym goers everyday, I cannot help myself if I see someone doing something wrong, I will go and help correct their technique or offer advice. This just makes me a nice person right? This is what made me want to personal train clients, to help clients stop wasting their time, to help clients actually reach their goal, and to motivate them.
My motivation has changed now I am not teaching 18 classes a week, I have more time to focus on my clients and on my own training. I now look to gain a little more muscle and increase my strength working on a split training programme. I aim to maintain muscle not loose it with too much cardio. I focus on interval training for my cardio now and a long distance run a week. This prevents injuries for me and keeps my fitness at its peak.
I love every training day as its different each day, but repeats each week so I do progress then I move the goal posts a little further. Progression is the key to keeping motivated, you need to keep moving goal posts in order to stay focused and to improve. The body will never change or adapt if it is not pushed to its limits.
This helps to maintain my passion, I never get bored, always have rest days so I am ready to attack my training plan again the next day. My passion for exercise is very very strong I like the benefits it has and it is part of my everyday life. It helps me mentally aswell as physically. It is my Passion, it is my motivation and it is my job!
How lucky am I!