What my love of ballerinas and Vikings gave me

I am sorry if I have been writing a lot of posts lately on staying motivated. Well, I’m not sorry if you feel motivated because of them. But, I am currently discerning what is next for me in life. Right now, I am living at home, paying off loans, and getting my toes wet while I prepare to take the deep plunge into the next part of my life, away from what is familiar and into the unknown.

And in life, in order to stick to my dreams, I need motivation. I need the incentive to keep with my plans, even when they seem to go nowhere and I am in a horrible rut, sitting in the mud with a frown on my face like a kid whose mud pies surprised them by not tasting like chocolate. Nothing is easier than finding motivation and then losing it. And recently, listening to a podcast called “Catching Foxes (listen to it, you won’t regret it), they talked about how you should not only be persistent in your goals, but should constantly seek new ways of remaining motivated.

And hit me: I would always start something then I would loose my drive because I would forget why I am doing it. I would stop motivating myself. And why do something if you aren’t motivated to keep on keeping on?

So, for my exercise and healthy goals, motivation came to mean flexible superhumans and ancient invaders. I am not as flexible as a ballerina, nor am I am as dead-set on conquering foreign lands as the Vikings were. But they are the exact type of motivation I need to keep exercising and, one day, please Lord, do a split. I haven’t had the ability, let alone the desire, to commit to exercise since I had to stop running last year. I got kicked in the shins, TWICE, in a week. It wasn’t Fight Club; no, I just tried to play soccer without shin guards among FRIENDS and FAMILY and bruised my shin muscle so badly from being kicked that I had to step away from hard physical activity for almost 10 months. But after such a long time of not being able to do much, doing anything seemed like a lost cause. That’s when I listened to the podcast and searched for that motivation. And I found it in ballet documentaries and the History Channel show Vikings. In both, self-discipline and determination rule the day. There are insurmountable tasks and despite the hard days, the days when they had four AM wake up calls for ballet practice, after not doing well at their last recital, or they were lost in the middle of the sea in 700’s AD in a boat full of angry Vikings mad for being lead on a wild goose chase to die in the middle of nowhere, their training and determination helped them remain resolute and damaging things: land that pirouette or find England. They stuck with it and they made it, even if it wasn’t pretty or exactly how they planned.

And this is how I get through my workouts. This is part of how I keep going day to day.

My call to you? Go find those things that motivate you.

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