1047mountain_bikingYesterday afternoon I came home from work knowing that I had a ninety minute bike ride planned as part of my training routine, but all I wanted to do was sit on the couch (Tombstone was on, and who isn’t a sucker for that movie?).  One less session isn’t going to make a difference, but if you’re like me, one session can quickly turn into a week of laziness filled with bad movies and Doritos nacho cheese fingerprints.

There comes a time in everyone’s training when they’ve hit the proverbial wall- when watching Seinfeld reruns seems to be a way better use of time than trudging out in the Chicago summer oven for a run or trip to the gym.  Maybe that wall hits taking the first step off the couch on the journey to lose ten pounds, or maybe it just happens to be when you’re prepping another three hour run so you can join the cattle call at the Chicago Marathon.  Whatever your wall happens to be, we have to find a way through that wall…but how?

The key to making it through the wall is to remember why we’re pushing ourselves with fitness goals in the first place. People have countless reasons why they push through these barriers, and the key is to remember the goal in sight.  Are you trying to cross that bucket list item off the list?  Are you the guy who has to constantly push himself with the next biggest challenge (marathons are easy, I should swim and bike for six hours beforehand)?  Maybe you’re absurdly competitive, and you have to beat that guy pushing the jogging stroller with two kids in the local 5K (why is he always so fast?), or maybe you’re just the guy who wants to drop a few LBs before heading back to the ten year reunion so you can properly relive the day you almost returned that interception for a touchdown in the JV game.

Whatever the case may be, when those training days get tough, you need to remember what motivates you in the first place.  Use that motivation to push through the wall to reach your goal.  Remember the finish line, or the family cheering you on, or the cause you’re running for.   As for me, I’m trying to set a good example for my kids, and I also may or may not have an unhealthy obsession with competition.  So I eventually made it off that couch and finished the bike ride.

So next time you find yourself looking for an excuse to stay on the couch, remember to ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” and it will help pull you up.

One last thing, if you’re the guy who’s trying to find the motivation to just look good on the beach, at least remember your leg workouts every now and again.

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