08 March 2019

Motivation has 2 faces: 5 tips to keep you running

Image result for buck up sissypantsI love The Big Bang Theory. (Spoiler alert... but if you haven't seen it yet, well... too bad!) There's that episode where Raj and Penny "hook up"... Then to get Leonard to snap out of being depressed because his girlfriend slept with one of his best friends, Sheldon gets Leonard's mother on the line because she's "so good" with parenting and advice. 

Image result for which wolf do you feed

Her sage advice: "Buck up." When her son Leonard questions this, she responds: "Buck up, Sissy pants."

Hard motivation. Leonard initially didn't respond well, but quickly changed his circumstances and "bucked up". Hard motivation worked.

Sometimes we get to a place where all we need is cottonwool, a shoulder to cry on. A bubble bath (but not in drought-stricken Nelson Mandela Bay) ice-cream, a glass of coffee, milo, or champagne, a duvet, a loved one, and a good movie can have such an awesome effect on our well being. Soft motivation works. Even when its at work and it is a colleagues listening without offering assistance or them refilling the stapler or the coffee pot... soft motivation works.

Knowing when to use which is the science and the art of the leader! And ultra runners have to lead their body, not only through the events, but the training as well. A good leader, a runner who finishes a race, uses both soft and hard motivation.

There are a 100 tricks to get you through... here are a few of my favorite:

  1. Stay in the moment. Don't focus on that long, flat piece of the run, or the uphill that is 1000m (3300ft) in 20km (12.5miles) that is still 4 hours away... or 15 minutes away. Listen to the birds. Look at the flowers. Watch the route markings! If you feel like you can't... don't listen, know that you can climb this next 1000 meters of path; then re-evaluate and see what you can do next. You bloody well can do it.
  2. Get a "Tag It" for your shoes. I have just one word on my tags. "Perspective". If you feel good while running an ultra: don't worry, it will pass ;)  Also if you feel bad, obvs. And another also: Also you can participate! How many people don't, and so many want to but are unable to do what you do. Appreciate it. All of it.
  3. People WANT to be involved... let them be! A mate got 30 of her closest friends, family and colleagues to write "something" motivational on a small card that she could carry with her. Each time she felt a low coming on, she'd open one up and be inspired... to run on and not stop to throw up on the surrounding vegetation! This method is awesome because out of 30 people some will give hard and some soft motivation... and the universe knows ;)
  4. Focus on what got you started. In my case, with #RazeABar, its the beneficiaries to four special charities; orphans (human, rhino, cats and dogs), the elderly, kids with cancer, those that have nothing but hope! So for each quarter I focus on a charity... 
  5. To be an example... a leader... in the most intimate way: as a parent. And #LancasterLight gives the best hugs. I am because he is... (with apologies to that great African proverb).
Winston Churchill is quoted as saying: When you're going through Hell, don't stop.

BONUS MOTIVATION... Don't forget about the buckle... or the medal... 

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