Over the summer I set myself the goal of walking seven Munros, I was fired up and raring to go.
I really wanted to get out there and get stuck into the FIT150. It was easy, all I had to do was jog up Arthur’s Seat a few times a week and schedule in my Munros. I would get them all done by the end of September and save the last one in for the Funathlon success week in October.
All was well for the first week. I managed to get myself up to the top of Arthur’s Seat twice. I was really chuffed with myself. There I was parading round, telling everyone that would listen that I was going to climb 7 Munros. Week two passed with much the same motivation, achievement and talk about what I was going to do.
Then week 3 hit and well you know, I just didn’t feel motivated. I felt tired and stressed and all I wanted to do was get on the sofa and put the telly on. I managed to get up the hill once that week and it was the longest, slowest most boring walk ever. Week four and five were much the same. I just didn’t have my mojo to get me going. I felt like a failure and I had started to avoid conversations about my Munros.
Things didn’t get any better and I started to become disappointed in myself. The more I thought about it the less I wanted to do it. I tried loads of things to get me moving: I took my fitness gear to work, I wore my fitness gear to work, I put a sign up in the house, ‘Go for a walk you will feel better for it’. I stood in front of the sign eating crisps then lay down overwhelmed by the pressure.
Eventually I gave up. That was it I was defeated, I couldn’t do it. Once I had decided I couldn’t do it, I lazed around for a couple of weeks eating chocolate, feeling like I had let myself and my colleagues down. Then something changed, I realised I didn’t want to do it. When I reflected on my lack of motivation, I realised I was doing it for others and not myself. I didn’t particularly want to climb up Arthur’s Seat three times a week. I also realised that seven Munros was not realistic and actually I had set myself up to fail. Bearing in mind no one had asked me to do it, I had taken on the challenge I had signed myself up to it all.
Since I had my realisation I have done hardly any exercise as I realised that what I needed more than anything was a rest; a rest to restore my energy and a rest from placing demands on myself. My refusal to go for a jog or a walk wasn’t a resistance I needed to beat, it was actually my body telling me to take it easy.
Now I am back to feeling motivated and I will walk on the beach and do a couple of Munros over the next month for the Funathlon. But I won’t be trekking up Arthur’s Seat three times a week and I certainly will be more aware of where my motivation is coming from the next time I sign myself up to a mega challenge!