Contrary to popular opinion, I do not pop out of bed every morning thrilled about doing my workout, nor do I constantly crave my clean diet that consists of a lot of chicken, sweet potatoes, and veggies. I love what all those things have done for my body, but I have to find creative ways to stay inspired and motivated to Dig Deep every day. I am not a fitness Super Hero!
One unique place I can usually count on to jump-start my fitness motivation is going to the movies. That may be a bit of a surprise since when you walk into a movie theatre you are bombarded with sights and smells of all kinds of tasty treats that will wreck your fitness plan! But that's a different topic.
For me, the inspiration starts during the previews. There is something about a well-edited preview for an action movie that makes me want to jump out of my cushy cinema chair and start doing a round of Shaun T pushup-jacks! The ominous voice over, the surging music, jump cuts of people running, fighting, or saving the world from imminent doom raises my heart rate immediately! It makes me want to become Jason Bourne when I grow up!
I'm always inspired by the actors who have transformed their bodies for a specific action role, which always reminds me what is possible when you are focused 100% on a goal. If they can do it, so can I... and so can you! Sure it's easy to say - but they have world-class personal trainers and meal plans they get to follow. If you choose to, you can have access to those very same things as well.
So by the end of an hour of previews (or maybe it just seems like there is an hour of them), I am pretty excited about getting back to my next workout, and any temptation for the large tub of popcorn is gone! Then the movie starts.
My wife, Kelly, and I decided to venture out to an early morning movie. Even though it has been out for a while, I wanted to see what all the hype was about The Hunger Games. This futuristic movie where kids battle to the death for the good of their respective district. (It sounds gruesome, but actually it is a rather uplifting movie) In the midst of the movie you get to see the chosen kids train for their upcoming battle. Any good training montage is always offers a good jolt of extra motivation.
But what really hit me is when they got into the battle itself. 24 adolescents in a circle waiting for the game to start, knowing ultimately you have to kill or be killed to survive. As the game unfolded and you saw people literally running for their lives, using survival skills, and climbing trees - of course my brain jumped to fitness. I thought, 'Wow, good thing these kids are in shape or they would be dead by now!' Thank God we don't live in this society where we have to be in top physical condition to make sure we survive. Then like a lightning bolt in my head it hit me...
What if your current physical condition did determine if you lived or died in a time of crisis?
My mind immediately flashed to 2005, sitting in a hotel room with my in-laws who had evacuated to Dallas from New Orleans. We sat in horror as we watched scene after scene of their beloved city be torn apart by the tragedy that was Hurricane Katrina. The images that stick out in my mind the most were people in terrible physical condition that were helpless and trapped. They were not in a position to try to survive themselves, and completely at the mercy of being saved. I'm not suggesting all the fit people in New Orleans survived and those that weren't did not, but I have to believe in the face of a catastrophic event being in decent physical condition does not hurt your chances for survival -- or increase one's chances of being able to save loved ones as well.
If we look at it honestly, just because we are blessed to live in the U.S.A. does not prevent us from facing unexpected dangerous times. Hurricane Katrina, 9/11, San Diego Fires... the list goes on. I am definitely not a doom and gloom kinda guy, but this 1 second flash of a thought while I enjoyed my movie reminded me of yet another reason it is important for us to take care of the bodies God has given us - so in times of tragedy not only do we have a better chance of survival, but can be of service to those who need us most.
Keep that in mind during your next workout; will it affect your motivation level and mindset?