I recently was working with a patient who is going to run the New Tork City Marathon. Her training for the marathon is going well, but she has been hampered by some Achilles tightness and some knee pain that limits her ability to complete her long training runs.
And here's the kicker: she hates running.
I asked her why she would sign up for a marathon if she hates running. She replied that she didn't sign up for the New York Marathon, she signed up for the lottery. You see, the NYC Marathon has a lot of people who want to run in it, and so a lottery is needed to help control the numbers. Many sign up for the marathon who aren't selected. This particular patient (who hates running) was selected to participate in the marathon.
It sounds crazy to sign up for a marathon (or for the lottery) if one hates running. I'm pretty sure my patient runs marathons to maintain a certain level of fitness, and having a marathon on the calendar motivates her to exercise.
As a physical therapist, I treat all her aches and pains that occurs from her running long distances. And I must commend my patient for tackling the NYC Marathon. So many of my patients do not exercise, and many do nothing to even maintain a healthy lifestyle. Signing up for a marathon (or the lottery for the marathon) is a great way to force you to exercise and keep the body moving.
So what do you do to keep yourself motivated? How to you engage in activities to help maintain a healthy life?