"Whether you believe you can or believe you can't, you're probably right."
To start a fire, you need three things. First, you need fuel. Dry wood is a typical source, but other things work. Second, you need oxygen, because in order for the chemical reaction to propagate, the hydrocarbons in the fuel need a readily available supply of oxygen atoms to combine with to produce CO2 and H2O and heat as its products. Third, you need an initial heat source or that spark to start the whole process along its course.
Now, it may be a little too close to home to talk about fire, what with the current state-of-emergency situation in the midwestern/southwestern part of the country, but that (in a roundabout way) got me thinking about what got me started running again. With a little prompting over the last few days from several people who have asked me what got me started and why I started the blog, I wanted to elaborate on what got my own fire burning.
For a long time, Ellie wasn't able to get me to exercise with her at all. I lacked motivation, I lacked the drive required to make a change. Simply put, I didn't have the ingredients needed to start my fire.
I was steadily gaining weight, building up my discontent and unhappiness. Over time, I got more and more frustrated with myself because I really wanted to get healthy, but for whatever reason I still wasn't motivated enough to actually do it. It quietly increased the pressure, building a large supply of fuel off of which I've been feeding ever since.
In order to maintain my fitness drive, I knew I needed some way to hold myself accountable. I needed some way to propagate the reaction. This is where this blog comes in. Reporting each and every weekday and posting my progress each Wednesday has been an enormous support system that has helped keep me going. I truly believe that weight-loss systems with a community behind them—and really any other support system, be it to quit smoking, to recover from alcoholism, or to recover from gambling addictions, for example—are incredibly valuable and should be a mandatory part of any plan.
This is the most difficult requirement to put my finger on. I've thought quite a lot about what finally pushed me over the edge. Finally, I think I've decided that it wasn't a single thing but a combination of events tightly packed together that provided enough heat to finally push me to get going.
The exact events are a little cloudy as it was almost a year ago, but there are a couple of things that I distinctly remember. The first was when I finally got to the point in my frustration with my weight that I was actively looking for motivation. I got to my heaviest level ever, and that really did upset me. Second, one day I talked with my brother Mike, and he recommended I read Born to Run. I'm not going to jam that book down your throat, but if you are looking for motivation, read it. Third, I bought into the Vibram fad. I was looking for something different, and honestly running in them is fun. Finally, I was getting sick of my gaming routine of playing for many hours every night. It was making me feel like crap in general, and I think Ellie was getting pretty tired of it. Between all of these things, it was just enough to start that initial slow burn, which has been going ever since.
I opened this post with a quote that I find to be incredibly true. I always believed I could, it was just a matter of getting all the ingredients together first. Think about what you have together . . . are you lacking anything? If you are on the edge, perhaps identifying what you are missing might be just enough to light your fire.
I'd love to hear why you guys started exercising or what you feel like you are missing. Leave a comment!
I guess I’m missing that spark 🙁 Maybe someone should just light me on fire.
Hey, turn that frown upside-down. You’ll get to where you want to be.
NO WAY you are missing any sparks !! I saw your face after that race you ran with your brothers in Boston, and again after the Freihofers…. you are not missing anything !! Hang in there!
Haha, I love Jono’s reply….
Awesome post Jono. I’ve actually used that quote at work and love it. I think you are the spark for a lot of people. Everyone has what they need inside of them to succeed, they just need to realize it.
Wow, now I know where he gets it from!
For me it started because my boyfriend was away and out of contact for 3 weeks. All of a sudden I had all this time on my hands, and I could either waste it, or use it to start a new habit and a new lifestyle. Once he came back I was feeling so good about myself and had so much momentum going I couldn’t let myself stop! Once you get two, three, four weeks into it, it seems impossible to stop, because building that initial momentum is so hard. Now it’s awesome to be a part of this community, it gives me that little extra push on days I just don’t feel like getting out there 🙂
Yeah, sometimes a little change to the daily routine, like a significant other being away, really can help change up your life. Awesome to hear you are sticking with it, and it’s great to have you with us!
Jono, I love that quote and I love this post. I get these sparks every year or two, this year it was going into my closet in the spring to find that NOTHING fit…. (that’ll spark ya!) But you are right, accountability is HUGE! When I lived near friends that walked with me every morning, I was out the door before 6. When noone is waiting for you, it’s so easy to say “I’m so tired…. I’ll do it tomorrow”. It’s easier now, cuz when I wake up at 5 it’s getting light out, and the mornings are beautiful, and when I get back I feel great and I get to go on 2fns and chart my progress… it is awesome!! We’ll see what happens when the days get shorter 🙂 I also have two friends who want to walk 30 minutes at lunch every day, so that is easy-schmeezy…. and tonight (Mikey is in PARIS!!) my friend Lynne called and wanted me to go walk with her. OMG I think I racked up more points today than in the last week!! It really helps to collect friends that make you want to do it ! Thank you for what you do, your mom is right, you are an inspiration.
I was reading a study recently that suggests all it takes is one active person in a social circle to get everyone going. The study looked at school age children, and their activity levels. They found if the “planted” an active child into a sedentary group, they all became more active.
It sounds like with you being active, everyone else you hang with are getting to be too!
I think the final straw for me was in September last year. My roomate at the time decided he and I were going to try Martial Arts. Not only would it help us in our jobs as Security Guards, our bodies in overall health, and a little bit of weight loss, but what 20s guy wouldn’t want to be able to say, “Yeah, so I’ve got my black belt”. The classes have never been overly difficult, but my lack of a strong core physique and any flexability never helped. Watching the majority of my well-formed peers in the classes made me think- I really need to be in better shape for this. It was around then that I came up with my first real health goal- getting to a healthier weight… and staying there. That was the real spark to my fire.
That’s the short story though. I’ve been battling this for a long time. Now I feel like I’ve found the tools to help me achieve it- especially now that I’m a part of 2fns.
Note to self, don’t pick a fight with you. More seriously, motivation comes from all sorts of places, sometimes it does take feeling a little below par compared to others you are working out with.
Whatever works, I’m looking forward to seeing you train for that half-marathon