Monday, August 12, 2013

Too Much Motivation?


You often see Motivation Monday posts. I wanted to talk about motivation today, but maybe not quite what most people would expect. 

I was thinking about motivation a lot over the weekend. Where it comes from, how it inspires, and also how it can be taken too far. Just take a quick gander over on Pinterest and you'll find more motivational quotes and images than you could use in a lifetime. Then check out your Twitter or Facebook feed. Again, posts about PRs, crushing workouts, miles run, weights and reps lifted. Now visit Instagram and tell me what you see. Yep, more of the same.

That's all well and good. It's inspiring to see others out there pushing hard, achieving goals, hitting PRs. It's great to see an image or quote urging us to not quit, to keep going, to push on through the pain. 

However, at what cost? One of my least favorite images/quotes I see is the one about never regretting a workout. I'm sorry, but I've regretted a workout before. Was I glad I finished it? Maybe. But I have pushed too hard and worked out when perhaps I should have rested and hated the workout the whole time. And I'll admit that. But I want other people to admit it too. 

Sometimes I feel like all of those quotes, feeds, pictures can end up having a negative effect for people. You can start to question yourself. Do you really need to rest? I mean, Nike says to "Do it every damn day" and so do all the run streaks. Do you really have to do one extra mile or one extra rep or push for a faster mile? Sometimes, but not always. Sometimes less can be more. And it can be a fine line of figuring that out too. 

As a fitness trainer, part of my job is motivating others. But, I also have to be very careful in making certain that I don't carry that too far. In other words, I don't want to push a client so much that they end up burning out, overtraining or even worse end up injured. But at the same time, I know that I will have to push them at some points just like I have to push myself.

So where is that fine balance between motivating and shaming? I say shaming, and maybe that's too harsh of a word. But come on, tell me you haven't been just a tad envious of that person always getting a PR, whether it's running, biking, swimming, lifting? Makes you feel like you might not have pushed hard enough perhaps. And maybe you could skip that rest day. Just get in one more workout. No harm right?

And maybe motivation is different for everyone. Maybe some people need those quotes and need to see others pushing harder so they push harder. But perhaps a little can go a long way. 

For me, I think it's more important to find motivation from within. To not be comparing yourself to others all the time. Find out why you want to run faster, farther or lift heavier. 

Sometimes it's even about being inspired and motivated by the beauty of a morning. This was my motivation for 6 miles this morning. 


Where do you find your motivation? And do you think sometimes motivational quotes and such go too far?