Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Whats Your Why?

It's February in Massachusetts, which means we'll inevitably be slapped with a few more snow storms, just to remind us how long a nasty winter really can last in New England. We'll also get 40+ degree days, where you'll see people out running in shorty shorts, almost willing spring to come more quickly. 

I decided to play chicken with this morning's snowstorm, and head to the gym as soon as it opened. I knew the storm would start getting bad about 8am, but also knew if I was efficient, I could bang out my swim/run and get home before my little car got stuck under a foot of snow. 

When I slipped into the pool, the only other guy in the chlorinated paradise turned to me and said "whats the reason YOU'RE here so early on this snowy morning"? I smiled, turned, and got my workout underway. His words stayed with me through my entire warm-up set; it dawned on me that I never thought of it as an "option". I set my alarm, and as long as the ground wasn't already covered with 3++ inches of snow, I was swimming. Of course, I had asked coach for a contingency trainer plan, but that was truly worst case scenario. 

Similarly, on the weeks I have Caitlyn, I train early, before she wakes up. My alarm goes off at a time that either starts with a 3 or 4, I roll into my bike shorts, and execute my workout before she gets up for school. No lights or TV, simply because I want to be able to hear her in the event she wakes up. It's me, and the sound of my trainer, for a couple hours before sunrise. It's never a thought to not do the workout, or even hit the snooze button (full disclaimer - I'm a total morning person. I'm usually out cold by 9pm, making it easier to get up early!). 

This was clearly NOT a dark-thirty ride!
Do I tell you this because I'm trying to sound like a super hero, or being all bragadocious on you? Nope. 

I truly believe the reason my training is consistent is because I know my "why". I never question why I'm hopping in the pool that happens to look a little extra slimy, or jumping on my trainer super early in the morning. I don't hit the snooze button, because I know I'll be much more productive spending those 5 minutes slipping on bike shorts (sometimes backwards), putting on the swimsuit that's still a little damp from yesterday's swim rendezvous, or lacing up my favorite pair of trainers. And even when coach again makes me run a prescribed low heart rate, instead of letting me off the leash to be a screaming running banshee, I listen, because I know my why. 

Gorgeous winter day for a run! 
Everyone's reasons for exercising, training, or even getting up to go to work in the morning, is different. Maybe you're motivated by money, to lose that last 5 pounds, or to fit into your favorite pair of skinny jeans. Or maybe on certain days, you're motivated because you can eat a Thin Mint girl scout cookie as fuel on your bike (uhhhh, theoretically of course..). I think the reason people stop being consistent in certain areas of life is because it can be easy to forget the "why" that was the motivation at the start. 

I challenge you to figure out your why; write it down, post it on your fridge, or tape it to your forehead. Then when your alarm goes off, remember that very reason your feet are hitting the floor in the morning. 

Happy Training! 


  1. Does your "why" start with- "Because I'm a badass?" Because it should.

  2. Loved this post. You are an inspiration. I'm not a morning person, so maybe this Ironman will make me into one... who knows? Because there's probably no other way.

  3. Knowing the bumps you've ridden, I'm so happy to feel your positive energy again through your words! Now we just gotta get a run together :)

  4. I LOVE this, friend. Know your why. I know my why too, and it is what drives me day in and out. you are a rock star my friend. I am not worthy ;-) XOXO