The Fitness Challenge 2

Monday 16 October 2017 by

Running, Cornwall, Clay pits

Remember how I promised to run every day for four weeks? I promised to keep myself moving and prove that I could do it. Well, I am rather sheepishly admitting this didn’t happen.

So where did I go wrong?

Running every day put so much pressure on the mere act of running (and my body) that it no longer became fun. I was hurting and stressed by trying to fit in a run every day that I lost sight of what I was doing. It became a burden, something that was a chore rather than a pleasure. And because my body didn’t like running every day, I ended up doing a lot of it on the treadmill which – although it still counted – was boring.

But I ended up proving something different – that running is only worth doing when you’re enjoying it. I realised that my motivation is totally wrapped up in my enjoyment of a project (sounds obvious, right?) and the longer I pushed myself to do something I disliked, the less likely it was to succeed.

Which means that, no, I didn’t run every day for four weeks. My running fluctuated between all-the-time or not-at-all. It became something that ruined my day whether I did it or not. With big running plans next year, I started to punish myself for not running, but then running felt like a punishment in itself.

Instead I want to set myself a new running challenge – run when I like. I want to remember how much fun running can be. I want to look forward to a run and not dread it. I want my body to feel fit and healthy and not overworked. And all those things are easy when I give myself the space to run whenever I feel like it, and not feel like a failure when I don’t.

The thing with challenges is that they can become all-consuming and they invade your every day. The trick is to not to let that happen, and by setting myself a challenge that was too restrictive I got stuck and frustrated. I love running too much to be frustrated by it. Thankfully, with my second fitness challenge, I think it will be easier because it’s not so intense. And I can still keep running!

Fitness challenge #2

This time around, I have to go to the gym three times a week for 4 weeks. I’ve had a gym membership for a while now, but lately my attendance has been somewhat sporadic. It’s high time I fixed that. Whether it’s for a class, a weights session or a good old run on the treadmill, it’s time I started going often enough to justify the money. I want to remember how much I love the gym, and by giving myself the variety means I will be much more interested in seeing it through. Here goes nothing!

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1 Comment

  1. CurlyChrisCoach

    It is such a fine balance when goal setting. Yes goal setting is a key to motivation but creating pressure can be demotivating. You can see it across all sports and across business when the balance flips the “wrong” way. A building performance goal, as you suggest is the way to ramp up the activity without losing the enjoyment… incidentally a topic discussed at the Triathlon High Perforing Coach Programme over the weekend.

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