What motivates you to exercise and eat right?
I have two reasons: to look smokin’ hot for bikini season and run a faster half marathon.
Let’s start with the bikini. Yes, I agree, this reasoning does come across as a bit shallow but let me explain. I have Treacher Collins Syndrome, a craniofacial anomaly characteristically noticeable by underdeveloped cheekbones, a recessed jaw, small chin, and malformed ears. I’ve grown quite accustomed to being the recipient of prolonged gazes and double-takes. Through the years, I learned to ignore these ignorant glances and go about my business as usual. Though countless surgeries have improved my facial bone structure, I still feel the burn of curious eyes on occasion. This usually happens when I leave the house with my hair pulled up in a ponytail revealing my malformed ears and hearing aid.
In my youth, I was a state, regional, and national champion gymnast. It was then I began to equate my physical strength with being comfortable in my own skin. Gymnastics earned me respect. Any trepidation onlookers might have had about my appearance disappeared when I stepped onto the floor exercise to perform my routine. My facial features may have made me recognizable, but other gymnasts and coaches remembered me for my athletic ability.
Today, I find the motivation to lace up each morning because, if I’m going to be noticed anyways, I still want my athletic figure to be the cause and not my facial features. My running highs truly do lead to sexy thighs…and six pack abs, toned shoulders, buff biceps…
I also push myself in my workouts and calorie consumption because I want to improve my half marathon finishing times. I clocked my fastest 13.1 mile event at 2 hours and 8 minutes. That’s an average of a 9.53 minute mile, which is definitely fast for me. My two prior half marathons clocked in at 2:31 and 2:24. By training with faster, longer runs, I hope to continue to run half marathons around that 2:08 mark. If I can break 2:00 just once, I’ll be elated; though I am naturally competitive. I’m not sure only once will be satisfying enough.
I noticed that when I lose even the slightest bit of weight, my ability to run faster increases. When I eat cleaner, my energy rises. Even though I love greasy foods, sugary goodies, and huge bowls of pasta, I continue to count my calories so that I can maximize my running potential.
Some people, I’m sure, characterize my devotion to running as borderline lunacy. I don’t, but then again I’ve always been overly dedicated to my passions. I don’t find time to exercise; I make time. I’ll wake up early for a run if I know I’m going to be busy all day long. And now that I religiously enter my food intake into a calorie counting app, I intentionally run longer and harder when I know I’ll be indulging that night.
Lunatic? No. Motivated? Absolutely.
Find your why and let it guide you to results. When you reach your goal, find a new motivator. It’s as simple as that.