Motivation is an interesting thing. Don’t you love the feeling? Excited to do something. I was motivated to replace the washer bellow tub door seal on the washing machine this weekend. Not just because there was a 2 inch tear and water was spraying all over the laundry room, but because I like to take things apart. I mean we could have McGiver’d a work around, and it would have most likely been fine. A little foam rubber here, some duct tape to hold it together, and voila!

I’ve taken the washing machine apart before, to adjust the amount of water in the wash cycles. We found there wasn’t quite enough in the rinse cycle so all our washables got sudsy when they got damp, sort of annoying when toweling off.

The tub door seal was far more elaborate a disassembly than the water level adjustment, and except for the control panel removal, quite fun to do. I also got it all back together without any pieces left over. Always a plus. But I’m getting sidetracked, as usual.

I find that most people I’ve collaborated with in the sport don’t have a problem with motivation. They’re very excited to do whatever training it takes to be as good as they can be. They usually have a problem with knowing when to back off, and rest, not realizing that rest is an equally important component in improvement. Or maybe realizing it, but not knowing exactly how much is really needed. The cool thing is we are all different, similar but different. So following your friend’s program isn’t the best way to go for you. It’s great for your friend though, always having someone to train with.

Brad Kearns and I did a bunch of training together. We also had a few others who joined in periodically. One of my favorite moments comes from one of these guys. We were at the track running 400’s (440’s for non metric readers) and he was running right along side us. After running 6 or 8 of the 12, he commented that it was easy for him to run 400’s with us at 69-70 seconds but we beat him in races. I said to him look at the size of your upper body. You’re carrying around 20 extra pounds of muscle and over time, you can’t keep up the pace. Brad asked the question, “You can either look good or race fast.” He thought for a few seconds, while Brad and I were amazed he had to think about it, and decided he’d rather look good. Brad and I laughed, but look at us. We didn’t have that option!

What motivates you? Are you motivated by love, hate, the need to prove something, the desire to look good, the curiosity to discover what you’re capable of, making other people uncomfortable? Think about it. Why do you want to do this? What do you like about doing this? What do you expect to get out of it? I was curious. I never really spoke of the sport during that time. I didn’t tell people I was a triathlete. I wasn’t proud or ashamed of being a triathlete, simply didn’t talk about it. I just went on my selfish path of discovery.

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