Tuesday, February 10, 2015

A triathlon a day...

Here I am, getting all amped up for ONE triathlon in June, meanwhile this guy is completing ONE TRIATHLON PER DAY in 2015!!! Whaaaat?

Photo taken from Cycling Weekly 
He isn't doing a full sized Olympic distance everyday. Swim 400m, run 10km, and cycle20 km. But, the great part is... he's raising money for Positive Action on Cancer.

Good on ya, fine sir. Our 'tri-a-day' friend is from the lovely United Kingdom! Keep up the great work! May you always have enough anti-chaf cream.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Intrinsic Motivation

Let's talk about intrinsic motivation....

What is it?

Intrinsic motivation is a very simple concept, that is quite difficult to understand.

Intrinsic motivation is doing something that is driven by internal rewards... or something that makes you feel good and gives you purpose. Relatively speaking, the majority of behaviours and actions in our lives aren't internally driven. Take, for example, reading a book. If you pick up a book and read it because you genuinely want to learn more you are intrinsically motivated. However, if you're reading a book to pass a course you are extrinsically motivated. Some other examples of extrinsic motivation may be familiar to you... exercising to lose weight, going to work to make money, studying to pass the course, or driving within the speed limit to avoid the fine. Are you mostly extrinsically  motivated?

A behaviour that is driven by intrinsic motivation lasts longer and becomes a lifestyle change. Why is this type of motivation seemingly so difficult to experience? Why is this type of motivation so hard to come by?

Perhaps this blatantly stereotyped comic is part of the reason. That is, there is a huge 'grey area' of motivation. Some people may be intrinsically motivated by external things. I tend to believe that our society, one of overindulgence, is making this seem like the only type of reality. For instance, from a very young age we are taught to 'go to school' so we can get 'good jobs' in order to 'support a family'. Society fills in the blanks by shaping perspectives into thinking that 'good jobs' are those that are stable and high paying. Society shapes the perspective that 'supporting a family' means buying them things and going on nice trips. All of these perspectives are based on the fundamentals of external motivation. No doubt intrinsic motivation seems so foreign. 

I think the most effective way to 'find' intrinsic motivation is to explore what is most important to you. Not just why you want something... but what is most important to you. Is your health most important to you, or is not having love handles important to you? Is getting a full nights sleep most important to you, or would you rather be able to gossip about the latest 'Bachelor' episode? Whatever it may be, you have to be entirely true to yourself when you answer these questions. The answers may surprise you.

Once you determine what is most important to you it will likely become more clear as to what behaviours you truly want to stick with.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Internal vs External Motivation

Why do you work out? Is it for an upcoming event, a new years resolution, that 'thigh gap, or snazzy blazer? All of these things are external motivating factors. In other words, you're not working out for yourself, but rather you're working out for 'something else'. This can be a rather difficult concept to grasp mostly because our world is bombarded with external motivating factors. 

Now, if you are motivated by something 'external', this is not 'bad'. The thing is, once you achieve your goal, or if that factor loses it's importance to you, you will stop working out. 

Luckily for me, my extrinsic motivation is spaced quite a ways apart. See, prior to Christmas, I was working out for my swim suit body for an upcoming trip. Once the trip was over it would have been easy to just make all that hard work go away one fuzzy peach at a time. However, I got engaged over Christmas and I definitely have some body 'things' I'd like to sort out before the Big Day! So now I have 1.5 years to work out 'for' the wedding. :) 

Check out the vacation and engagement video I made...
p.s. its basically the most cute proposal I've ever seen!!

So what's the difference? Basically, if you can see, touch, or attend the thing that motivates you to work out, you are externally motivated. Intrinsic motivation comes from within. Being motivated intrinsically will typically result in changes that are long term. You may hear people say that they only lost weight, or started eating better when they REALLY wanted to change. This 'really' wanting to change is a shift from extrinsic motivation, to internal.