11 October 2011

What motivates you?

The other day I was conversing with a guy who likes to lift weights too.  Most of the time, when people ask me for advice, I often do not give it.  Most will not get answer they will like (either because it is not easy, it seems esoteric, or because they have to put in the minimal effective amount of effort for their own self experiment).  So I tell them this, and if I am pressed I will explain what I do, and why it might not work for them.

The question posed to me this day, however, was so good I decided I should write about it.  My friend asked, "How do you stay motivated?"  I will share my thoughts on this now.

First off, going to the gymnasium--especially where I train now--is an immensely positive event, and something to look forward to.  I look forward to it because my day job is monumentally boring, and involves talking to a lot of people that I normally wouldn't associate with on a regular basis.  With all these thoughts running around, engaging in physical culture gives me the chance to be thoughtless--a zen like state if you will--and it's not something that happens too often.  If I sit cross-legged for too long, I will start moving eventually and get restless.  The gym allows me time to meditate, and decompress.  Knowing I can do that any time I want is a pretty big thing for me. 

One of the other motivating factors is not following a prewritten program.   I have talked to some people who think it's appropriate to kick themselves in the groin repeatedly for missing a preordained day of their program.  This certainly isn't good for your psychological well being, and when your head's fucked, you get stressed.  And I know a lot of you can attest to the fact that stress can manifest itself physically.  Which can further fuck your performance, hormones and god knows what else.  If you know you will PR any given time you lift, and you are apparently free to choose when you do so, you have released yourself from a bond, which can feel liberating and motivating.

The last part of the preceding paragraph is a nice segue into this one.  PRing every day.  Highly motivating.  If you know you are gonna be better than you were yesterday, what motivating would you not have to go and do something awesome?  And this applies to anything.  I apply it to playing instruments, reading books, and writing.  Not just lifting.

And you can literally PR in anything.  Even in intercourse.  One of the strongest motivating factors for lifting weights, for me,  is to have better sex. I am pretty sure I don't have to convince you that there might be a
a relationship between lifting weights, eating high amounts of protein, and your testosterone levels.

Imagine what a little stamina could do.
Not to mention that there is an obvious correlation between the hip extension of a deadlift/kettlebell swing.  More importantly, if you don't have to worry about whether you will be too winded to bang your significant other(s) you can stop worrying about yourself, concentrate on your sexual partner, and hopefully make it a better sexual experience. 

Besides the obvious relationship between the pelvic motions, the deadlift (and general posterior chain training) is my favorite stuff to do because it can make some really stimulating sexual positions possible.  For instance, there was a time when I could not hold a sexual partner, while free standing.  What a sad day for both of us.
What amounts to a quarter squat and and a little arm work can have a high payoff for both involved.
 If you are especially virile, you can potentially start in a missionary style of position, and go from the floor up.  This will make you feel more manly, and be pretty impressive too.

So, as you can see, sex is a pretty big motivating factor for me. 

Lastly, and I have touched on this before, the weights can be symbolic in many ways.  If there's a bar on your back, and it starts getting easier to move, this is powerful imagery.  As my squat goes up, the imagery becomes especially striking to me, and makes me realize that I can over come obstacles I face in my life.  This is perhaps the most important motivating factor of all.  Overcoming obstacles.  More often than not, you do things to get you to where you are. So it was a choice all along, so in the end you are the only one to navigate these obstacles.  Much like when you decide you want to squat heavier.  You made the choice, you better goddamn do it. 

Please, tell me.  What motivates you? And if you lose motivation often, why?

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