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Mid-life Motivation

November 13, 2020

Mid-life Motivation

How can days during Lockdown go simultaneously fast and slow? All those things I had on my list to do during Lockdown 1 and never did: learn a new skill, read more books. All those things I never planned to do and embraced with wanton abandon: drinking most nights, scrolling through Twitter. I look back on that time with a kind of misplaced nostalgia. Misplaced because our Taekwon-do business as we knew it, came to a grinding halt, but nostalgia none the less for a time of suspended animation that we may never experience again…except here we are…again. So now we find ourselves in Lockdown 2 it’s as if we’ve been given another chance to fulfill our discarded Lockdown list and the pressure is on to somehow find the motivation to do this.

At the end of August, I found the motivation to lose the pounds that banana bread and booze had piled upon me, when I finally admitted to myself that the shorts that were no longer fitting me hadn’t just shrunk in the wash. My daughter had been loaned an exercise bike by her football club, to keep her fit during an absence of training. I’d moaned about it being in the sitting room for months and it suddenly became part of my plan. I decided to cycle every day for 30 minutes, until my 50th birthday and here I am, a week away and I have kept to the challenge I set. Making the pact with my husband helped – the feeling that we’re in this together (this was also the problem with the drinking). As did a subscription to Audio books. But the overriding factor that contributes to my motivation is habit.

Fitness goals are so personal and relative and they really don’t have to be drastic like completing an Ironman, but equally they can be. I still have flabs, but when I stand in front of the mirror, tuck my pelvis under, suck in my tummy and pull back my shoulders, I feel okay (exhausted after doing all that…but okay). And the only way I can keep up the motivation to continue, is habit. Habit is definitely my friend when it comes to maintaining my fitness goals. This is why weekly exercise classes work, meeting a friend every week for a run, or a long walk on a Sunday.

Yet why is it that the bad habits are so hard to break, but good habits take a whole load of perseverance to keep up? I wonder whether, when I hit that half century next week, I’ll keep doing the 30-minute cycle every day? I am a firm believer that the key to maintaining fitness isn’t intensity, but consistency. Just as the way to maintaining a healthy weight (fitting into my shorts), isn’t diet, but moderation. So, on my birthday I shall raise a glass to consistency and moderation as motivation for fulfilling my fitness goals in my next half century. I shall have my cake…and probably share it.