Mike Fohner, cross country running coach, tells this story about one of his students:
"Last year, one of my young cross-country runners was fully content walking up the hills and avoiding physical exertion to the maximum extent possible.
I tried all sorts of tactics and motivation techniques…to wits end. Even my “walkers club” (post practice sprints for those that walk during practice) had no effect.
One meet, this runner unexpectedly knocked 3 minutes off her best time to which I gave a look of amazement to her parents. They smiled and said, “Well…she didn’t walk…so I guess we owe her ten bucks!!” So it appears that money is an effective motivator for all ages!
Brace yourself. According to Rod K. Dishman, Ph.D., director of the Behavioral Fitness Laboratory at the University of Georgia, nearly 50 percent of people who begin an exercise programme drop out within the first 6 months.
The question is, “Why?” What is it about sticking with a fitness routine that causes so many people abandon it?
The answer? Motivation.
They don’t want health and fitness badly enough.
It is a simple fact of human psychology that if we want something badly enough, we’ll do everything we can to get it.
Your challenge is to find out what motivates you to get serious about fitness and stick with it.
Unlocking your motivation
Mike Fohner’s student found that money was the motivation she needed to push her out of her comfort zone and into a commitment that she previously hadn’t been interested in.
Bryan Reece found a different motivation.
Told by his doctors that he was minutes away from a heart attack, Bryan decided to fight back.
Even though he had not been in a gym in 30 years, he turned his life around and eventually became a finisher in the Arizona Ironman competition.
You can read his story in the book, You Are an Ironman: How Six Weekend Warriors Chased Their Dream of Finishing the World's Toughest Triathlon by Jacques Steinberg.