Last year, 2015, I stopped running. My right big toe hurt so much I couldn’t walk without pain every time I took a step. It was debilitating. Well, it’s been uncomfortable since August 2001; but, I’ll get into that another time.

I decided to bite the bullet and look into surgery for my toe [hallux limitus, osteoarthritis, bone spurs- just in case you need a name for it]. Never in a million years would I have thought about doing this; yet, I did. Learning about how and why my body became injured on MANY occasions throughout my running career and developed osteoarthritis in my right big toe is exactly why I want to help runners today! So they don’t make the same mistakes I did!

This post is about what I’ve been doing, in the interim before I can run again. So, it’s not exactly about running… just so you know.

Last year I was lacking a lot of mojo when it came to movement, physical activity, exercise and sport. All around, I was pretty low. In a spur of the moment decision, I decided to do the Rottnest Channel Swim on Saturday, February 27. It’s a 19.7km swim from Cottesloe Beach to Rottnest Island in Western Australia. It’s one of those iconic events that I felt compelled to do. And, to get my butt moving a little more.

As soon as I signed up, October 14, I thought, FANTASTIC! I am good to go. Yet… I stalled on actually doing the work=> moving and swimming… I felt like I wasn’t motivated as much as I “should” have been. I knew how much I needed to do in order to be psychologically, mentally, and physically fit enough to do it, (i.e. stay injury-free and not drown) but nothing was driving me forward. I only swam a few kilometres a week. I felt a bit embarrassed, disappointed, and couldn’t understand why I wasn’t really doing the work. I mean, I paid almost $400 for the event for goodness sake.

Barely any swimming was accomplished up until my toe surgery on December 9. After the knife, I had to wait 2 full weeks before I could even touch water again! I candidly thought “You %#*^@! moron, what are you doing? Why did you sign up for this event?” Doubt. Doubt. Doubt was on my #1 list.

As soon as I got my stitches out I signed up for a few open water events: 5k on Dec 27, 5k on Jan 10 and the mandatory 10k time trial for Rottnest Solo swimmers (me) on Jan 26, because I hadn’t qualified yet. I also made an important decision of joining a swim club, Perth City, the ultimate turning point {social atmosphere, many Rotto swimmers, all masters swimmers, accountability, set routine, variable pacing, and fixed time in the pool}.

Even though it’s only been a few weeks I feel much better in the water, I’m getting my mileage in, and I am enjoying it! Imagine that! Doing the work and getting results. I would have never thought 😉

I was a sport psychology consultant for almost a decade helping athletes with their mindset; and, I couldn’t do it myself last year. It was tough to swallow. When you google scholar motivation and running you come up with over a hundred thousand articles providing definitions, ideas, types, strategies, tips, and tools. And, my motivation today is different.

Look, when I was younger, I had a single track mind, pursuing my goals with seemingly nothing in my way (when I wasn’t injured, of course 😉 ). I was in the pursuit of excellence, personal bests, national team, Olympics, etc. Motivation was a different beast back then. Today my life is about the pursuit of fun with a challenge.

Here is a quote I recently read from an online businessman, that perfectly shows what motivation is to me right now:

Motivation disappears at the first sign of doubt.

Get yourself some discipline. 

~ Nathan Hague

It is exactly what I needed to hear. And, it has helped me understand my lack of luster pre- swim club. Sometimes it’s good to go outside of the sporting world to find answers or gain advice.

And any of those interested~ a few days ago I had the 10k time trial. Here is a wonderful picture of the whole event. I swam relaxed, taking in the whole event [aside from getting stung a millions times!].

Swim 10k

All I have to say is, thank you to discipline through the help of a community. So many people have helped me along the way and I am truly grateful… and I haven’t even done the ‘real’ swim yet!

Back to Motivation-> what works for you? What are you doing this year? I’m planning and structuring my days, weeks with accountability buddies because I’m not gonna lie, I need help, and I am not afraid to ask for it. Let’s not beat ourselves up this year with A to Z of this and that. If you need more “motivation” like I did, just ask, and/or join a community. As a masters athlete it IS different than a junior.

Enjoy your day 🙂