When people come up to me and start talking about Run Richmond lately there seems to be a common theme. Almost everyone says they need to get motivated to start showing up to run or walk with us. I know for a fact there is no shortage of desire from most people to get outside and move. The idea of taking a hike, going for a walk or going for a run is something that most people like the idea of, just struggle with getting the activity going. Sometimes health issues make it hard, but most of the time life just makes it hard. We are busy people. Between work, kids, cooking, cleaning, and whatever else falls onto your list we have a lot to do. That doesn’t mean we don’t have time to go run, it just means you have to find more motivation to do that than to sleep in or watch TV.
Since I started running to lose weight early last year I have ran almost every Saturday. I have ran most weeks either 2 or 3 times before or after work. In general, I would not call myself a highly motivated individual. I actually really like laying around on the couch doing nothing. Getting the yard mowed is a major chore and I have a hard time convincing myself to get most things done around the house. My point is that all this running isn’t something I just naturally do because I am a real go getter or anything. Actually, I think it is just the opposite.
In reality, I got started running because I had gotten so lazy that I was way overweight and killing myself. The motivation to get healthy all of a sudden was more than the motivation to be lazy. That’s the key to anything in life. The motivation to do things correctly has to be greater than the motivation to do things the easy way. After a while I could tell that the motivation was failing. I needed something to keep me going. That is when I signed up for my first half marathon. I am goal driven so when I set a goals to finish in under 2 hours I took my training serious. My motivation to meet my goal was greater than my motivation to be lazy.
When the half marathons finished I knew something would have to keep me going. That is when Run Richmond was born. My motivation to meet new people and build a community of runners in Richmond was greater than my motivation to sleep in on Saturdays. Run Richmond met all through the winter of 2015-16. I was getting up in the dark and bundling up with lots of layers and running 3 or 4 miles each Saturday with a group of people that had just as motivation to keep going as I did. My guess is that without us doing it together many of those Saturdays none of us would have got out in the cold.
So if you are one of those people looking for more motivation I have a few simple suggestions. Sign up for a race and set a goal. Don’t sign up for your 30th 5K and expect that to get you motivated to work hard. Set a big goal. Decided to run an entire 5K if you never have. Move up to a 10K if 5Ks are your normal race. Half or Full Marathons will certainly make you work. Don’t do any of these things alone though. Convince some more people to do it with you. Let them hold you accountable to your training. Without community it is so much harder to focused.
Run Richmond is full of people looking for new challenges. Come to a group run, I bet you can find someone willing to jump on board with whatever crazy race you have found and want to try. Motivation is just a balancing game, find the thing that tips the scales in your favor and you will be ready to go.