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Posts Tagged ‘motivation’

Baby it's cold outside!

Baby it’s cold outside!

I had a conversation with myself recently:

It’s cold outside.

Well it’s winter.  What’d you expect?

But I wanna go for a bike ride!

So go for a bike ride!

But it’s so coooooooold!

Suck it up! You’ve got a hat!

…And that conversation went on in my head for about a half an hour when I finally gave in and decided that I’d bundle up and try it out.  My hubby aired up the tires to the Dream Machine while I put on 2 Under Armor Cold Gear shirts, a pair of medium weight tights, a pair of fleece pants and a pair of wind pants (Yeah, I wore 3 pairs of pants.  If I had some fancy cold weather tights, I would have done that.  But I don’t, so I layered.)   I also donned a neoprene face mask, a fleece ear wrap, my helmet, 2 pairs of gloves, and my new neoprene toe covers. Oh, and my coat.

I’ll admit: it was a lot of work.

A picture I took of an eagle a few days before this ride but in the same area.

A picture I took of an eagle a few days before this ride but in the same area.

But then I rolled my bike out passed my snow covered lawn onto the slightly-icy street, hopped on, took off towards the river, and was immediately glad I’d talked myself into going!  Afterall, the day was sunny, and most of the ice was confined to the edges of the streets or occasional bad corners, so it wasn’t that bad outside. Once I reached the river road, it was smooth sailing and I cruised along.

I decided to ride a route most Quincy cyclists would be familiar with- the Knaphide Loop- and it was a great choice for the day.   I spotted no fewer than 5 bald eagles, probably a half dozen red tail hawks and even a triplet of kestrels all out hunting.  One of the red tails had a fish so big in tow that he couldn’t seem to make it higher than a couple of feet off the ground and occasionally had to land in the field and rest.  I followed him a while.  He really didn’t like me so close, but then again, he wasn’t going to leave his prize either, so he tolerated me for a while.

The 34 degree weather didn’t bother me much.  In fact, when I was heading North, I was almost overheating. I especially enjoyed my double pair of gloves.  I’ve been putting a pair of rubberized football receiver gloves over a cheap pair of cotton gloves and they’re just the right combination of wind-proof and warm while still being nice and thin.

Here's a picture of the complete get-up. Stylish, I know.

Here’s a picture of the complete get-up. Stylish, I know.

By the time I turned back to the South, a pretty decent breeze had picked up (an aside: can I ever go riding on the bottom road without a South wind!?!??!) and for the first time I felt a little chilled.  To combat the cold, I just pedaled harder, and before I knew it I was back in town.  I even stopped at River Skate, Quincy’s new outdoor ice rink, to say hello to my friend Chris before heading back up the bluff hill towards home.

It was a great solo ride and I was happy to get outside and enjoy the day.

What I learned is that it’s sometimes more work to talk yourself into going out the door on a cold day, but just like any other day, you’re going to be happy you found a reason to say YES to your Adventure Foot.

2012-milesThis little bike ride happened to be on December 30th and was my last bike ride of 2012.  It made my total miles this year 2504.  That’s well over double my 1230 miles registered in 2011 when I started this whole cycling thing.  As a matter of fact, that’s like leaving my house, biking to San Francisco then taking the coast up to Portland.  My 2013 plan? I guess I’ll just keep on riding.

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It was one of those days.  I sat at my desk on Tuesday afternoon and looked incredulously at the clock that said 4:36 p.m.  It seemed like at least a half hour had passed since the last time I looked at the clock at 4:34 p.m.   When time finally dragged itself to 5 p.m., I bundled up, went out in the already dark night, scraped the ice from my windshield using the only thing I had at my disposal (a tennis racket) and drove myself home.  Every bone in my body said, “Hot bath, book, bed. Maybe wine.” But while my bones had their own plan, the calendar said “Tuesday,” and Tuesday said, “Run with the Heartland Road Runners After Dark.”

The Road Runners After Dark celebrated their 1 year anniversary this week at Mi Jalapeno in Quincy.

Since I began writing blogs about being active, a frequent question from friends is, “How do you find the energy to do all of these activities?”  And the truth is: it’s not easy.  Everyone has days like I described above.  A year ago, if my motivation and energy were completely gone, I would have probably just put on a sweatshirt, sat on my couch, and called it a night.  These days though, I’ve been getting myself out the door even on nights like Tuesday.  I’m about to share my secret of how I changed my attitude and learned to overcome crummy nights and get myself out the door.

I got a permanent marker and wrote the word “Adventure” on my foot.

True story.

Why?  Well, the truth is, I’ve always enjoyed being active.  Kayaking, cycling, hiking, frisbee, swimming, running — every single time I try something new it’s been an adventure.  And the only thing separating me from having an adventure is getting my foot out the door.   The marker was just a way to remind myself that any kind of activity helps me to feel better about myself, improve my health, and make new friends. After an activity, I’ve never thought, “Dang, I totally should have just sat home and done nothing.”

So, though the marker has faded (and I’m still to chicken to get it tattooed), whenever I feel like I can’t get out to be active, I think of my foot.  If I follow my “Adventure Foot” out the door even one step, I know I’m going to have a good time.  One step is hard on days like Tuesday, but one step is all it takes.

I posted a question on Facebook asking some of my other active friends what they do for motivation.  They had some great ideas to share.  Wherever your motivation comes from, I hope you can harness it this winter and find great ways to get out.  The Roadrunners After Dark will be meeting at Jimbeana’s restaurant at 130 South 10th in Quincy on Tuesdays throughout January at 6:45.

Marinan Coons: I remember a cold day that I just didn’t want to run, so I told myself I would just do one lap around the block. Near the end, a guy in a wheel chair saw me jogging, and started to clap and cheer me on, like I was running a race or something. He got me so motivated that I did a second lap. I will pull that memory out when I need the extra kick in the pants.

Brian Pahlmann: I think about my long term goals and how this particular workout will help me to achieve them. I’ll also consider the blank spot in my training log if I don’t go. If that’s not enough, I convince myself to go out and at least do a little. After I get started, I almost always feel better and complete the entire planned workout.

Rodney Hart: If I don’t take my two dogs for their afternoon run, they’ll eat my living room. Plus I always feel better after a long walk. Finding my expensive Snark guitar tuner chewed to bits if I don’t walk the dogs is good motivation …

Justin Busen: ‎”Somewhere in the world someone is training when you are not. When you race him, he will win.”

Dave Poland: On days when I don’t feel like running (or at the very least taking a walk), I usually try and justify some lame reason for not going. Then I think back to the very first time I ran. It was only one block and I thought, “There is no way I will ever run a mile.” Now, I look at how far I have come and never want to get back to THAT starting line again.

Clinton Begley: Exercise is just a byproduct of passion for something; an activity I love and want to do better, a feeling of exhilaration, a drive to be healthy… When it’s for the sake of something one loves, motivation is never a question. And, I’m rarely passionate about my couch.

Sara Martin: I make myself go first thing in the morning and then I will never find an excuse to not do it. Also, I cannot tell you how good it feels to go through my day without constantly having the thought of “when am I going to make time to exercise” running through my brain!

Melissa James: I bring my gym bag with me in the morning so I don’t have to stop at home. I also like to think about how great I feel after a workout. I promise myself I’ll stay for at least 20 minutes – and it always turns into more.

Amy Salamon: I put my exercise clothes on. Doing that and beginning to stretch helps for me, because most days I DON’T want to go out. Actually getting in the gear and going through the motions helps prepare my mind for running.

Ali Berti: It does help to put on the workout gear and get yourself ready, because then you figure “as long as I’m dressed…” and you can get yourself out the door. Being committed to something with a group always helps (like Heartland Road Runners and Walkers Club!). Sometimes I have to “bribe” myself with a nap later or maybe a tasty coffee! I’ve also told myself, just do a mile, then it turns into more!

Jeremy Grootens: Each individual workout doesn’t mean too much by itself, but the continued accumulation of workouts is a great thing.  So by thinking of where I want to be, instead of thinking of how I feel on that day, I usually get the workout done.

Adam Duesterhaus: An Active lifestyle is a happy lifestyle! Keeping the body in motion is as essential as keeping the mind and spirit moving as well! Never letting it fall into Limbo. When one fails, the others lack! Also, imagining where you want to be, is beneficial as well! Envisioning yourself on an open road, sun on your face, maybe a smile, it can help establish the right mindset, even though your present body is nowhere near that. Surrounding yourself with active peeps helps too!

Ryan Craven: The reason we love the outdoors is the beauty you see and the unexpected things that happen. You won’t see it or experience it if you don’t go out. That gets me up and about!

Jason Asmann: Personally, if I don’t feel like working out either due to a lack of motivation or that the weather is bad, I always remind myself that all the time and energy I’ve put into training this past year or two. It is the one motivating factor that tells me to put one foot in front of the other, get out there and just do it!!

Jared Busen: When I don’t feel like stepping out my front door I remember the old me, before running, with no motivation and failing at most things I tried.  Running has been my guide to improving all aspect of my life.  I’ve gained confidence, motivation and a determination I’ve only found because I run.  Seeing how far I’ve come over the years motivates me to get out the door and continue my relentless pursuit of improving myself.

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