FAQ: How do you stay motivated when you train by yourself?
I have been asked this question many times in the past 4 months. My response was/is an awkward little giggle that I do in order to buy me time for a smart-a** answer. If you know me or have talked to me, you know this exactly what I am talking about. Anywayssss…After I have been asked this question for the 472nd time, I figured it was time to give a mature response and insight on how I stay motivated. Because the truth is, it’s not easy.
Over the past 5 years of playing professionally, I have realized that there is not much separation from player to player. Before you start an uproar, I know that each player has their own strengths; however, I am saying that the talent is relatively similar at the professional level. The X factor that separates some professional athletes from others is their mentality. You can be as technically or athletically gifted as you want, but you will not survive if you are mentally weak.
I must strive for mental toughness because I am not the fastest or strongest player. Despite the amount of smack talking I have with my teammates about my pace, I reluctantly have to admit that speed is not my game. A girl can dream though. Instead of stating who I am not (Usain Bolt), I aim to be mentally tough. Apart from soccer, a strong mentality can and should be applied to any facet of life. It is your decision. Because the truth is, it’s not easy.
A strong mentality is a grind and I have to consciously chip away at it every day. All professional athletes’ “work” is behind the scenes, despite what we show on Instagram, Twitter, etc. What you all see is the small percentage of what we are preparing for all year long. We are preparing for our moment and a strong mentality is the key ingredient. Because the truth is, it’s not easy.
It is not easy to make yourself get on the treadmill for sprint workouts. It is not easy to get up early and go running outside in freezing temperatures. It’s not easy to miss parties and holidays. It’s not easy to constantly be watching what you are eating. I don’t care who you are, trusttttttt that it is a daily struggle. Because the truth is, it’s not easy.
So, with all that being said…the motivation that I have been using this offseason is simple. 1%. I use it as incentive to get my ass moving to improve 1% with each rep, sprint, or mile. When I am thinking about getting off the treadmill (every second), I make myself stay on a few seconds longer to get 1% better. Some of you might say, 1% isn’t enough and you might be right; however, I believe that the important thing is that I am improving, getting stronger, and fitter every single day. Some days I strive for more than 1% and other days I have to fight for that little 1%. Every day is different. Because the truth is, it’s not easy.
What is easy is for me to sit here and write this because I am sitting having a SuperCoffee and eating a delicious PaleoPowerMeal after my grueling workout. Like I said, big girls gotta eat ;). The secret to staying motivated is keeping yourself mentally strong while you are in pain. That pain will always be there (again, trusttttttt), but push through it 1% at a time. Pain can be found in your career, your relationship or anything in your life. One of my favorite motivators is Eric Tomas. In many of his YouTube videos, he always says “You are already in pain, you are already hurt, get a reward from it.” Every morning you wake up, you can choose to get your reward by improving 1% or simply stay the same. I choose to get just 1% better every day, so what do you choose?
Because the truth is, it’s not easy. And that’s exactly why I stay motivated.
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% is how you react to it.”
- Charles R. Swindoll