Motivation which pushes you past your perceived limits

I have to preface this entry with a disclaimer – I’m a huge procrastinator! Why do it now when I can do it next week?

I hope the title of the entry isn’t too misleading. 

Last night, Monday, I decided to go out for my first-ish bike ride. And as previously mentioned why go right after work when I can go waaaay later at night, smh!

Around 8:30pm I load the bike on the car rack; drive to one end of Revere Beach; park my car; unload the bike and got going on my Monday night ride. 

I ended up riding for 16.2 miles in 1 hour and 15 minutes. Not bad for my first ride. I’m getting used to gears and the breaks. 

As I’m making my way back to the car, a couple miles away in the distance I see flashing lights, I was able to make out police and tow trucks. I realized that there are different parking rules for the end of the beach where I parked this time. I typically park on the OTHER end of the beach when I run. And of course I didn’t bother to read the signs!

Those last couple of miles I was pedaling so hard I don’t know where the energy was coming from. I was very tired but I had the proper motivation to go beyond what I thought I could do. In this case the motivation was very self serving. I didn’t want to spend several hundreds of dollars to get my car out of the tow yard or pay any other police fines. I simply wanted to avoid  all the hassle of this process. 

What I’m trying to get to is that motivation comes in all shapes and sizes. For me, at the end of my ride my motivation was avoiding getting towed. Earlier in the ride I had a different motivations. I imagined myself fitting in 34″ waist pants. I imagined myself cycling for 100 miles in a day and completing one of those weekend cycling challenges. I imagined myself holding my grand children and playing with them. I saw myself happy and healthy. 

I feel motivation doesn’t have to be something grandiose. It just needs to be enough to get you through today and just enough to try again next time. I’m a terrible golfer, but I enjoy the game. When I’m out in the course I just need to hit one great drive. That is enough motivation me to bring me back. 

My first ride was pretty interesting. Lots of learnings, such as … 1) I need to get a front and rear light, especially if I’m riding at night. 2) I shouldn’t ride on sidewalks, I went over bike to avoid a pedestrian who jump in front of me. I landed as gracefully as a walrus. Thankfully I didn’t get hurt and the bike didn’t get damaged (I think).

I didn’t mean to create a cliff hanger. I did get to my car just as the tow truck was  backing up to lift it. I rode up to the state trooper, out of breath, told the that it was my car. He stopped the tow from continuing and now I have this great story to tell!

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Sunday night’s run sucked

Thursday nights is our ‘Pena 5K’ which is the 2.6 mile course in Deer Island. This week I was really happy as I reduced my time by two minutes from the previous week. Friday and Saturday I rested and I was feeling good. 

On Sunday I think I might had eaten a bit too much and it’s my day to run. So I coerced my brother to go on a night run with me, albeit I didn’t have to persuade him much. Perhaps I shouldn’t have rested two days between runs. 

I determined that I wanted to run the distance of a 5K for two reasons 1) I wanted to see where I am time wise and 2) I wanted to complete Runkeeper’s 5K challenge.

I’m also using the Couch to 5K App which gradually changes jogging length each week to get me to a 5K in 9 weeks. 

Sunday’s run was the start of week four and the intensity changes significantly.  There are two 5 minute jogging segments and two 3 minute jogging segments. The walking time is also reduced to only half of the jogging time, 2.5 and 1.5 minutes. 

After completing the Couch to 5K scheduled program, 31.5 minutes, I still had three quarters of a mile go! I was tired by this time but I decided to push myself and jog the last stretch. 

By the time I was finished I could barely lift my feet but I did it. My brother kept encouraging me to keep going and to push myself and I finished the 5K distance in 41 minutes and 17 seconds. Terrible time from where I want to be but now I have a base line. I only have to reduce my time by 11 minutes in the next two months to achieve my  goal of completing a 5K run under 30 minutes. Very doable 🙂

I was definitely hurting more than usual today but I guess some platitudes are in order such as “no pain, no gain” or “push harder today if you want a different tomorrow”. 

I am determined more than ever to change; become healthier, lose weight and have a better life. So, if I have to crawl while crying to make it happen I will do whatever it takes. 

Why am I doing this?

At the tender age of 19 years old I learned I was going to be a father. At that point I had two options; either man up and become a responsible adult OR be an absent father and let the mother raise the kid; she’d probably do an OK job.

I chose the former and get my life in track. I left my dead-end job to pursuit an educational opportunity which opened many doors and changed my life.

The educational opportunity was a one year program that trained me in IT for six months and I was placed in an internship for the second six months.

This was my first experience in a professional/office environment. It was all so foreign to me. I had to learn soft skills as well as the technical skills.

After the one year was up I was awarded a scholarship to a local college geared towards working adults and the classes are in the evenings.

The second year and the subsequent four years I was working full time during the day and going to college full time at night.

For the past 16 years I’ve been driven to succeed because I want to set a good example for my son and show him that it’s possible to work hard and achieve more than what’s expected of you.

I wanted to prove to him that his environment and zip code doesn’t determine his future.

In short, I wanted to make my son proud; I wanted him be proud of his old man; I also wanted to be financially secure to provide a better life and opportunities for him.

I’m glad to say that I’ve been able to do achieve these objectives.

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Soooo… That’s a long introduction to why am I making this new life altering change AGAIN

Because I’m still young and I want to visit other countries; I want to enjoy life, I want to participate in all sort of activities and have adventures with a partner.

Because I want to play and spoil the hell out of my grand children when the time comes; I also want to spoil the hell out of my nephew who I’m looking forward to meeting in 3 months, love you already Baby Lucas!

Because the older you get the more health problems arise if you don’t take care of yourself. 

For the past 16 years I’ve been doing what I HAVE, which is not a bad thing. I always thought about my son before doing anything. I never stopped to think about what I WANT. In another two years my son will turn 18 and he doesn’t need me to be meddling in his life. I understand he will want to be independent. I will always be in his life but I need to think about what I want to do with my life when I don’t have to worry about my son as much anymore.

These are some of the reasons why I’m making changes in my life.

What has been the most significant change(s) you’ve under taken in your life?