When I was in college, I was also in Air Force ROTC for 2 years. I didn’t complete the program due to my genetically imperfect knees, which in the 90’s was enough to get you bumped. Still, I learned a lot and found myself in the best shape of my life. Even so, I hated getting up every morning for PT. I did it, but grumbled. A friend a year ahead of me never seemed to struggle with motivation to exercise and so one day I asked her what her secret was.
She explained that she saw exercise as something she was going to have to do anyway, so it didn’t really matter that she had to do it for AFROTC. She said it was like brushing her teeth. No one is really looking forward to brushing their teeth or excited about brushing their teeth, but it’s a thing that everyone just does each day and gets it out of the way.
That idea stuck with me for years even if the habits that came with it didn’t.
There are times that I am excited for my workouts, but those really are rare. Most of the time, it’s a habit like brushing my teeth. I get my workout in and then cross it off my list for the day in much the same way. By viewing it as something I just have to do whether I feel like doing it or not and just another healthy habit to get done, I find I fight less with myself on those days that I’m just not feeling motivated.
After all…how often do I really feel that motivated to brush my teeth? I can’t remember a time when I woke up and thought, “YES! I get to brush my teeth now!” But…I always do feel better after I have and I always feel better having got my workout in and out of the way.