Finding Motivation


They say the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, but what happens when the motivation is not even there to take that first step? What do you do when you start questioning the reason for your time, effort and suffering out on the road or track? – BY ANEL OOSTHUIZEN

There have been countless days when I have woken up and dreaded my morning speed session, or my Sunday long distance session, or my excruciating gym nights, not wanting to go out there and train. There have also been countless days of feeling like I have failed in specific training sets, because I didn’t reach the times I wanted to. There can be so many reasons for feeling demotivated. It might be not reaching the goals you set, or not finding time in your busy schedule to train, being too tired, or maybe just being plain lazy…

First step: Accept it. Acknowledge the way you feel. Yes, you don’t want to go training. That’s okay, you’re allowed to feel that way! Life is not all rainbows and unicorns, everyone knows that. The secret behind it all is in those moments when you acknowledge the way you feel, get out of bed and still do it anyway. One should always remember, you are lapping everyone on the couch, no matter how unsuccessful you might feel about your training!

It does take a lot of courage and determination, and the best way to stay motivated is to do that as often as you can. The more you do it, the easier it gets, and that’s why one of my favourite quotations is, “It never gets easier, you just get stronger.” I live by that.

My coach always asks me, “How would you eat an elephant?” The answer is piece by piece. By just focusing on right now. By not thinking that if I feel like this on Monday, how am I going to make it to Sunday? But by doing a bit of ‘soul searching’ while going through the motions, you will feel your mood and attitude change, and the motivation will slowly but surely return. Always remember that Rome was not built in a day!

About the Author: Race Walker Anel Oosthuizen is a multiple SA Champion and Record Holder, who represented SA at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

IMAGE: Courtesy Anel Oosthuizen