Consistency is like the "fluffer" on a porn set and motivation is the star who gets all of the credit.
For the record, I hate the word motivation 5 out of the 7 days of the week.
"What keeps you motivated?"
"I'm inspired to be an athlete but I don't have motivation like you do."
Fuck motivation; be consistent. And when you cannot be consistent, reflect. In the running community and beyond, people toss around motivation like its something you can buy at the corner store from Papi. Go ahead-- pick up that can of fleeting motivation next to the Skittles and Starbursts but tell me how that scam works. If I could buy it on the shelf tomorrow, I'd return that can of shit back and ask for a refund. Just like anything you want in life, you have to earn it and the road to success is not a straight line.
Consistency Is Failure's Older Sister
I've been radio silence here on the blog compared to years ago when I was posting like a mad woman; several factors changed in my life. Since August 2016, I became a sponsored athlete and I'm redefining what that means to me. If you want to talk about consistency, I used to race home after a half marathon or full event, shower, barely eat and put up a race report. Let someone piss me off at the gym too hard and I'd flex my keyboard on this open diary like I was auditioning for American Ninja Warrior. After blurbing on here about being heckled at the NYC Marathon in 2017, what I thought would be a few days evolved into a crazy conversation and accumulating quite an audience on my blog, social media and personal life. My hobby shifted into a promising career and that's how I started failing my literary running community.
I actually don't remember exactly how it started but I can tell you the excuses that I gave myself on why I don't contribute as much:
Perhaps you're wondering how this is related to consistency. In each area, I overthought how to appease everyone else except myself and I failed. Whilst I will never tell you to abandon consideration, my motivation to share my athletic and traveling adventures drifted into an abyss of silence. I LOVE writing and sharing my adventures as much as I enjoy living in the moment. What I hate is the unclear fine print that came with the changes in my passion. I allowed my lack of knowledge, fear of new opportunities and imaginary consequences ruin my stride. Essentially, I failed myself before I ever started.
When you are training for an event, whether it's a 5K to a 100 miler, you have a few options to explore when you fall. The most common ones after assessing the damage are to surrender to the accident or dust off and continue. Depending on the severity, you are forced to make a choice. The part that tends to get pushed to the wayside that a failure happened prior to your decision -- you busted your ass. But if you have your older sibling consistency on your side, it'll smack you silly and teach your failing ass a lesson; it's up to you to actually absorb in the course details.
"Natural Talent" Versus Productivity
For six years, fitness has been an intricate part of my life. Sometimes I give off the illusion that my entire life is consumed by it and I manage to squeeze in a family around it. There's been times where I read a comment on post where people state that I am a 'natural athlete.' I don't lack self esteem but I'm not inclined to believe that statement at this moment in my life but I can agree that I have freakishly strong moments. But natural talent means nothing without effort. Without constant upkeep, it's hard to maintain muscle gains, whatever slow AF speed that I have for my events and the ability to improve.
âIt is easy to get overwhelmed by visually faster and stronger athletes. I would be lying if I said I never encountered a moment of runner's envy. Some days I want to be 15 minutes faster or not look like death after a run. I want to wholeheartedly give a positive answer after being delirious frolicking for 20 miles. What I can say with confidence is that I don't envy the human or their work but more or less irritated by my performance, lacking patience for improvement or inability to make something click.
The source of fleeting motivation can come from anything:
âWhatever your "shortcoming" may be, speak positively about your growth -- because that's what it is. Most times you're not lacking motivation but longing for instant gratification. I don't have a magic pill to offer but on my rough days, I give myself a pass to shut my brain off from anything fitness related. I take a walk on the wild side and break a few rules that I'd follow on a regular basis. In my case, I know I'm a workaholic.
Stop being a Debbie Downer about your baggage. Acknowledge it and then evaluate your issues to find a solution. You have an ache in your knees that's forcing you to reduce your 12 minute pace to a 15 -- cool; go to a doctor and make the first step.
Are you bored out of your mind with running? Ask yourself if your heart is still in it and if it is, take a few days off. Do something else. Ride a bike, juggle some eggs at a supermarket after you paid the bill or go to a spa because you ran your mind ragged and come back from your vacation. Whatever you do: Bring your ass back if you want to accomplish something.
Don't run from hard or mundane shit. We live in an instant gratification error and it's easy to look at others thinking that everything is so much easier. Put in the work your way; use others as a guide or a muse.
And if you're really obsessive about this word: Recruit or cheer on a friend. Allowing others to help you stay accountable work for some people. It's not always a win for me because it sometimes crosses into a territory of nagging. When all else fails, dig into your own belongings to separate your garbage from your keep pile. Practice this from physically writing out lists or seeking a professional to get back on the right path. If you think that your favorite person never encountered a bad day, week or year, you haven't been watching hard enough.
Latoya Shauntay Snell
For my pretentious ass bio, check out the about me page but for anyone interested in who I really am, make me a good meal at your house and I'll tell you a dope ass story.
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