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An Unlikely Fitness Motivator

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People are motivated by different things to get and stay in shape. It may be an upcoming event like a vacation or special occasion. It may be the desire to fit back into a favorite piece of clothing. Different things will motivate people.

With the scramble of back to school classes and fall schedules, my exercise routine was altered, but one day I was finally able to make it to a kickboxing class that I hadn’t been to for a while. I was on time for class and ready to work hard. I had my water, my towel and energetic attitude. I forgot how tough the class was.

I was only twenty minutes into it when my legs and arms were simultaneously screaming for a break from the nonstop punches and kicks. The uncomfortable lines of sweat trickled down my skin and began to pool in the small of my back creating what I could only guess to be a large wet spot on the back of my shirt for all my fellow kickboxers to see. I could barely catch my breath. I started to wonder if anyone would notice if I slowly kicked closer to the door and snuck out with my bag. After all, I tried to rationalize, half of a workout is better than none at all.

With a glance around the room, I see something that will change my mind and inspire me to keep working. Within the packed class of dedicated participants, there were about three other people at least double my size in weight. Their faces were flushed, their hair damp with sweat and they were keeping up with the workout. I suddenly felt a new surge of inspiration.

Sometimes it is easy to see an instructor or class regular with a perfectly toned body and think, “Of course they look like that but I never could.” Sometimes what you think is unattainable is not something with enough power to motivate you. I started to think of the others; if the people who are struggling like me are strong enough to finish class then I can finish with them. They seemed to have the same desire to make a change as I did. With the final stretch completed, we all clapped energetically, partially because this excruciating class was over and because we were proud of ourselves. Proud to have finished and proud to have started our day with doing something good for our bodies.

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Good for you for sticking it out. I found watching my brother-in-law do marathons then Ironman triathlons inspiring. I also saw all the different types of people who were doing it. I thought to myself, "if they can do it, I can do it." I'll never do an Ironman (those people are crazy), but I do use the thought as a mantra when doing events (sprint triathlons or 5K charity runs are my current thing). I think, "I do this because I can. Some people can't. I want to always be able to do this, so I am." As 40 looms next year, I am glad to be active, and it does serve as a motivator--despite how easy it is to skip a day or two. Keep moving!

August 17, 2010 - 10:18am
EmpowHER Guest

Exewercising with other people can be a great motivator because they can so inspire [and sometimes shame!] you into keeping at it by virtue of their example... ;-)

(Link removed by EmpowHER Moderator.)

August 16, 2010 - 6:27am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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