Tuesday, August 3, 2010

SOWL Challenge #4: What are your motivators?

When I read this challenge I was touched to day the least.  It did bring tears to my eyes some.

I’ll start with my long term motivator.  I have never had a poor family medical history that I knew of until my parents got older.  We weren't necessarily a very fit family.  We were a family of musicians.  My father was an engineer and musician and my mother was a music major turned school teacher.  Music and education was our focus, not fitness.  I was the rebellious one that was more interested in boys and hanging with friends as a teen but mostly my family was about music and education.
My mom did enroll me and my brother in every sport but it never lasted for me.  My brother stuck with it more than me.  He was a basketball, cross country and track star in high school as well as valedictorian of his class.  Today he is finishing is PhD in Music Performance and is a professional trumpet player.  He is quite the over achiever.  We played soccer and baseball; figure skated and did gymnastics. I was interested in fitness but I never pushed it very hard.  I ran track and joined swim team in high school but only so far as for the exercise, not the competition.  I was never over weight in high school but I always wished I was just 10-15 lb lighter.

Then my mom got breast cancer.  I was shocked.  That doesn't run in our family!  How could that be?  My family is a family of people that live until they are in their 100's.  It was very scary. She recovered but it was a rough road. My parents both also have diabetes, mom has osteoporosis, dad had Parkinson’s, high blood pressure, and a host of other old age issues (and they're not that old) that I must say just scares me.
Fortunately my mom got it under control.  She lost all of the weight she wanted to loose by working out at the YMCA several times a week.  She is a fitness freak now and an avid cyclist as well.  She is one hot momma and definitely an inspiration.

I also want to be an example to my kids.   I don’t want them to have the lack of fitness up bringing I did.  They need to know it is important to exercise. 
My boys don't seem to be an issue .  They are very active and participate in high school sports.  They are thin, lean and muscular.  I see my youngest daughter, however, following a lot of my mistakes with food and that scares me.  I can’t keep up with her as far as clothing.  I swear I refuse to buy her any thing bigger.  She will just have to get it under control, but she is only 13 and I can’t seem to get her to understand.  My 20 yr old daughter is doing well; she is lean and healthy.  She isn’t completely committed to a healthy lifestyle but she seems to know what healthy is basically about. 

After having kids and continually creeping the weight on, and the fear of family history, a healthy lifestyle and weight has become a major goal.  I had hoped to be at my goal weight by 40 and I almost made it.  Now I'm 41 and have to start over again.

Then there are the simple motivators.  I want to feel and look sexy.  I am active person and I have fun being active. I want to have the energy to be active and  I want to run faster and run farther. And for me, I know that running is my key to loosing the weight and being fit.
Then there are the in the moment motivators: friends who want to run, friends who do run, encouraging posts from friends on dailymile.com and facebook.com, running blogs, the next race, to work off an over indulgence, to earn a night out, to fit into my  clothes, to post progress each week on my blog!

I guess I am basically competitive by nature.  There is my mom, if she can do it, I can do it.  And there are my motivators, if they are doing it, I can do it too.  And I will!


  1. Very awesome...you are on your way!

  2. Wow. So glad your mom got it under control. What a beautiful example for you and others.

  3. Cool post, Ruth! I'm VERY proud of you! Keep it up!