(For proper understanding of the title, please sing to the tune of ‘When Dey Wud No Crawfish’. And if you don’t know the tune, here ya go. Take two minutes. Enjoy!)
Ah, motivation. A word that seems to be appearing nearly everywhere these days – in my life, at least. The grad school class I just finished taking focused on youth services, but a big factor in that is motivation – how, exactly, do we motivate young people? Is it exact? (Hint: no.) We spend a lot of time focusing on that because overall, motivation is a big deal. If I don’t want to do something, and I don’t have a particularly great reason to, what’s going to help me make the choice?
Right. So. Motivation.
I enjoyed my grad school class a whole heck of a lot – it was relevant, fun, utilized a flipped classroom (my preferred method for teaching), appealed to multiple learning styles, etc. I was motivated to do well because I knew it would be helpful in the future – because it seemed relevant – because I want to be able to succeed in the field. (And by “succeed”, I mean, actually make a difference.)
And then I went running on Monday… I forced myself to. I hadn’t been running in about a week. I was kind of burnt out on the idea; my schedule was packed all week and didn’t give me lots of free time; I didn’t feel great; etc. And I kid you not, I spent more than 3 miles of the 4 mile run thinking about how I just wasn’t motivated. Hmmm.
Why run? There are multiple answers… mainly, I started running (read: barely jogging) a few summers back because I felt lazy. I still feel somewhat lazy if I don’t get up and move a few times a week. Then there were goals (read: races). A 5k I ran with my brother and sister on Thanksgiving morning. It was 34*F. I was in shorts and a well-worn-out tshirt. That was fun. The best part was sticking around for prizes and winning a $30 gift certificate to a running store. Love that. No, we didn’t intentionally match, I swear.
Then there was the huge goal: marathon, with the same siblings. And we did that. And we survived and lived to tell the tale (which we all have told entirely too many times most likely) and drink the allotted amount of I-earned-this-victory beer (well, I didn’t drink my entire amount. I was barely able to stand post-race to begin with…ah, jello legs.)
And now, I feel like I’m kind of just lost in terms of motivation. I’m signed up for a half-marathon in September (oh goodness it’s only 6 weeks away #panic) with the same siblings. A few notable voices (read: brother and boyfriend) are trying to convince me to sign up for the Baltimore Marathon, and let me just say, every time I convince myself I unconvince myself, so no funds have been allotted for that sucker yet… but I’m just struggling each day to remember why I do this. Or what my purpose is. Are those the same?
I don’t lose weight. I don’t necessarily feel better. Sometimes it hurts and sometimes it sucks. But sometimes it’s fun – like six miles side-by-side with my sister in the pouring rain. So what do you do when the motivation just kind of…disappears? Do you go through with it anyway? Do you re-evaluate? Do you decide to suck it up and hope it resolves itself? I know without a doubt that there’s no way I’ll finish another marathon without the mental strength to get through it. Is it appropriate to start offering up running for the intentions of the others – even though it’s something I willingly and voluntarily do? I would love to integrate my spiritual life with my slowly-running life – to make it more purposeful. Who has thoughts and wants to share?