Athlete Update: 'I lost my mojo' by Emilie Brabon-Hames
So I thought and thought about what I could write about something we all might have in common… Mojo – Drive, fire, motivation, inspiration, my “get up and go!”I lost my drive – mojo, motivation, fire – whatever you want to call it. About 18 months ago actually.
I don’t remember if it was all of a sudden or if it crept up on me, but all of a sudden it was an effort to work out – There was no way in hell I was going for a run…and as for getting up early – Yeah nahhhh. I don’t think so.I am sure you have all been there. It’s not the first time its happened to me, I thought if I wait patiently and stay fit and ready, then by the time it hits me that I am ready to get competitive again, I will be so ready to go that the mere thought of having lost my motivation in the first place will seem like an old joke.
Now as a full time coach, this was a problem for me mentally – I mean, I didn’t stop training, I didn’t stop making sure I took care of myself, but I didn’t enjoy it. It was a chore – and it was something that I made myself do each day….
I LOVE running – I love competing – Ultra marathon is my jam and just knowing I can run for hours on end at a decent pace feels like a magical power, but for some reason it left me. I didn’t want to – I didn’t get any joy out of it.
I tried music, no music, short distance, long distance, racing, jogging, early morning, mid morning, evening…. it just wasn’t going to happen.
But – I knew it could be fixed. And that’s kind of what I wanted to approach with this post. Some of the things I did – to make sure I didn’t drop the ball completely, and found my way back to really loving exercise and my sport. Feeling that fire – and competitiveness again.
Now bear with me because some of these might seems strange or odd… But they worked!
From the top
1. I would make my husband leave me somewhere – if he drove away after Bootcamp or at the gym – the only way I could get home is to run! So I did…He always said I could change my mind and he would come back to get me but I never used that excuse… (Thank you baby)
2. I bought new running shoes – really nice ones too that would have been a shame not to wear them for what they were made for.
3. I started doing workouts that I wouldn’t usually make time for. TRX, Attending my own Bootcamp as a recruit, Stair sessions, sprint sessions…
4. I enlisted the help of my main training buddy. My Husband – I don’t think there is anybody in the world that is more supportive of anything and everything I choose to do.
5. Now this one might seem gross but it makes sense…I only washed my hair on the days that I worked out or got sweaty…
6. I talked (bribed, tricked) friends into doing certain workouts with me at ridiculous times…Thank you Kozi, Steve and Chief for the 3am Stair sessions before Bootcamp…
7. I set myself a goal – At first – small ones, keeping my run times to a decent pace, lifting a certain amount, and “closing my rings” – those of you with an apple watch know what I mean…. It’s almost OCD!!!!
8. I treated myself like a client – which means, I demanded an explanation as to why I wasn’t putting myself first…Reminding myself that a workout isn’t something you “fit in”, that it is something you prioritize.
9. I entered my husband and I in an overseas race – is there any better reward that heading overseas to race? NO – there isn’t. It is my idea of the funnest of all fun trips.
10. And last but not least – I was kind to myself. I didn’t expect to find that drive and motivation overnight – I had no idea how long it would take. But I made myself say what I was going to do out loud. Once you have said it out loud there is no backing out.
So even if you have tried everything – just be patient and kind – keep at it, and remember that everybody experiences it – it is so common, but nobody ever really talks about it – they label it lazy, busy or occupied etc….. none of which are true. Just think back to why you started.
By Emilie “Gunny” Brabon-Hames