From Ann Mehl, annmehl.com
Often my clients ask me “How do you get motivated to run? How can I get inspired? How do I become disciplined?” I often reply that there is no magic formula. You get it by doing. The mental qualities you need are all linked like a chain. If you give exercise a try and see results, even if it is as simple as feeling good that you got out the door, you’ll become motivated to repeat the exercise.
One woman who shares this philosophy is Nicole DeBoom. An ironwoman competitor and founder of Skirt Sports, I imagine how many times she has managed to “just show up” for her work and her training. (An Ironman distance event equates to a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride plus a 26.2-mile run.) To find out if she is procrastination- proof, I reached out to her with a few questions:
AM: Does your mood ever play a role in your decision-making?
ND: Definitely. Sometimes I’m feeling rushed and scattered and I make decisions that are therefore rushed and scattered. When I’m feeling calmer and wiser, I make decisions that are calmer and wiser! It is impossible for me to take the emotion completely out of my decision-making.
AM: Do you ever procrastinate, and if so, how do you beat it?
ND: Ten minute naps help to refocus. Sometimes I incorporate a short run, or if time-crunched, a walk around the building with my dog will clear my mind. I wash the dishes at SkirtSports. I only do this once or twice a month, but when I do it, it’s with full procrastination in mind! “Breathe dammit!”
AM: How do you encourage someone to take the first step in trying something new?
ND: I think hesitations are primarily mental, so I pull the typical psyche-up lingo: “If that person can do it, you can do it.” (I need to use this one when I finally learn to ski this year!) or, “You will never regret trying, but you’ll regret NOT trying.” Or “Afterward, you get to eat a big burger and fries!” (usually when attempting some form of calorie-burning exercise)
AM: Can you describe a time when you showed up for something, (though you didn’t feel like it), that impacted your life in a positive way?
ND: This pretty much happens every day. I’m a big believer in engaging the people around you. I like to turn a trip to the bank into a connection with the teller (and I steal a few lollipops). An “easy” spin around town on my bike with Tim (my husband and world champion Ironman) generally yields some obscure wildlife sighting, unless it’s a snake-sighting, then I immediately regret it! Sitting in a middle seat on the airplane must always be accompanied by this thought, “today I’m very lucky. I get to meet not one, but TWO, potentially great people.” On one such trip, I sat next to the man who would later become my husband, so my advice is to always talk to the people next to you! You never know who might just show up.
AM: Anything you regret not showing up for?
ND: Most morning swim workouts, because when I roll over and say “I’ll just do my workout later in the day”, guess what happens later in the day?