Before we start, I’m just going to set the scene… I am currently laying on my sofa with a fluffy blanket, binge watching Marvel’s Jessica Jones, on a Saturday afternoon 6 days out from the World Bench Press and 8 Days from the All England Powerlifting championships. To say that motivation, situation or anything isn’t quite where it should be is a massive understatement. And why do I feel it necessary to share this? I don’t know really, just that I’m not writing this from the point of view of someone that succeeds, or someone that has an easy ride. This is from the bottom, in the middle of what feels like a lifetime of stress, quite categorically the hardest few years of my life.
So what is motivation? Well it’s just a feeling really isn’t it, or a mixture of feelings, a bit like an alloy of emotions, your experiences, your hopes, dreams, and fears, so it’s no wonder that it is hardly ever perfect, that’s a tough ratio master! It is an accumulation of these things that make us start, along with access, availability and social boundaries, but really when we start something that becomes a big part of our lives we don’t know where it will take us, it isn’t a dream yet, it’s just a new experience and focus to satisfy whichever void needs filling at that particular time.
When you find a sport or hobby that you love and it becomes a major part of your life it is like any new relationship, the honeymoon period. You are passionate, highly motivated, every session is exciting, and you want to shout it out to the world… but as in any relationship this soon fades, the love is not lost, far from it, it often grows, but the passion is different, less fiery, less constant, and changes the way that motivation works too.
Recognising how this evolves and understanding the difference, I feel, is the key to maintaining motivation in the long-term, or at least still managing when it isn’t there, for anything, not just sports. As with any relationship there are ups and downs, but does this mean you should quit? Hell no, not if you really love it. You fight, you ride it out, grab it by the hands and run through the waves. People say that you should remember why you started, but I disagree. Remember the passion, remember the fun, remember why you continued, that’s your motivation.
My motivation is very external, I started powerlifting for my own reasons, I am competitive, and of course I give it my all in comps, I hate losing!! BUT it was what came next that kept me there, I love helping other people, I love training people, bring new people into sports, seeing and helping people make their own personal progress, this is what ignites me. My own successes are cool, I suppose, I just don’t get the same pride out of them… watching someone I train overcome a barrier or get a personal best on the platform fills me with pride and excitement, if I do it myself, yeah of course I’m happy, it’s just not the same feeling. To me success is the whole package, I perform better myself when I’m busy with work and coaching people, I used to, if feeling unmotivated, wait to train someone else and then do my own session after, this always worked to get me going, like a pre-workout!
In the last year things have been very different, work, life, everything has been turned upside down, and there are times, like now, feelings are empty, or even worse overpowering. For me, I seem to be as successful at maintaining motivation as I do relationships, pretty much suck at both, maybe there is a positive correlation there! And there are many times like now, that every day and every task is as plain as the check box on my ‘to do’ list, there is no passion, there is no fire, all there is is the fear of having to start again, the fear of letting everyone else down, I personally don’t care about success, but I hate and deeply fear being a disappointment, or should I say more of a disappointment to some, so continuing is the only option in the hope that the spark returns one day, the fire reignites, and the real drive and passion return.
Something I have always said is that motivation follows action, not the other way around, you got to keep moving to get somewhere different, nothing changes if you stand still, you just get left behind, the world keeps on turning around you, best hold on tight for the ride.
Faye Jordan – 20th May 2017